ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – A bright sunny day, cool temperatures and delicious cuisine created a recipe for success at the Taste Of Atlantic Highlands Restaurant Tour, sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce (AHCOC) on Sunday, September 20. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and while observing all state laws and rules of social distancing, the event broke records for the amount of tickets sold. “While we were certainly blessed with amazingly beautiful weather,” noted AHCOC President Cindy Fligor, “I think people were really eager, hungry so to speak, to get out and enjoy themselves and to feel some sense of camaraderie and normalcy amidst challenging times.” Over 250 people purchased tickets, according to estimates by AHCOC Administrative Secretary, Florence Carp.
While the excitement of actually attending a real, live event was likely a draw for attendees, several new businesses in town decided to take advantage of the captive audience and chose to officially launch at the Taste of Atlantic Highlands event. Monty’s BBQ, Towne Diner, and The Original Keto Coffee Company all held grand openings, enticing guests with aromas from items like pulled pork, spareribs, empanadas, and slow-brewed keto coffee. All three enterprises are located on First Avenue.
First-time event participants, Zoe’s Vintage Kitchen and Doughology, were so thrilled to be a part of the day’s festivities and delighted guests with sweet treats like ginger-pumpkin pancakes and donuts, respectively.
PHOTO: ‘Basket of Cheer’ - Prestige Travel’s Cris Candelino (right) and AHCOC Administrative Secretary, Florence Carp, announce the winner of the ‘Basket of Cheer’ at the Taste of Atlantic Highlands Restaurant Tour September 20. The winner was local Atlantic Highlands resident, Kerry Kelly.
While the newly opened businesses and first-time participants added excitement and nuance to the already popular event, guests who attend every year look forward to the ‘old guard’ establishments like Kunya Siam and On The Deck, who offer lavish delicacies like lobster, shrimp and crab every year. For the second year, Captain Dan Schade of Classic Boat Rides welcomed guests to his new paddleboat, The Navesink Queen, offering guests the chance to spend some quiet time on the boat and to experience the amazing water views at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor.
“The event exceeded all my expectations,” noted Lori Anne Oliwa, event planner and publicist for the AHCOC. “The cool, crisp weather, the enthusiasm of guests from near and far, the variety of businesses participating, and most of all, the indomitable spirit of the entrepreneurs in the community, who despite the most challenging of times, were willing to open their doors, and their hearts, to provide a wonderful day for so many people. I am really humbled and honored to count these people as friends and colleagues,” added Oliwa.
Sponsors of the Taste of Atlantic Highlands included 1st Constitution Bank, O’Brien Realty/English Properties, & JBL Trinity.
The full list of event participants included 1st Cup, O’Brien Realty/English Properties, Prestige Travel, On The Deck, Classic Boat Rides, Zoe’s Vintage Kitchen & Eatery, Doughology, 1st Constitution Bank, Kunya Siam Thai Restaurant, The Book Compound at Renaissance Emporium, Towne Diner, Julio’s Pizza Company, Monty’s BBQ, Oyster General, Resources Real Estate, and The Original Keto Coffee Company.
The next AHCOC event will be the Fall Classic Car Show on Saturday, October 17. The event is free to the public. For more information on events held by the AHCOC, visit the website www.ahchamber.org or call the AHCOC office at (732) 872-8711.