A POINT PLEASANT INSTITUTION GEARS UP FOR ANOTHER LIVELY SUMMER OF LOBSTER BY THE SHORE

BY ERIK SCHONING PHOTOS BY VIOLET KARYN PHOTOGRAPHY

There’s something timeless about the classic seafood shack. Red’s Lobster Pot, a harborside eatery in Point Pleasant Beach, delivers everything one might expect: a laid-back atmosphere, sweeping ocean views, and hyper-fresh, locally caught sea fare.

Red’s has been on the scene for nearly 30 years. In 2014, Marisa Tanner and her business partner, Bill Cleary, were preparing to sell another local restaurant, Shipwreck Point that they had rebuilt in the aftermath of Super storm Sandy. “Our home/small marina adjoin with Red’s,” Tanner said. “One day the previous owners told us they wanted to sell and retire.”

 

It was an offer too good to refuse. Tanner and Cleary took over a business that had evolved over the years from a tiny dockside spot to a popular destination restaurant. They knew they wanted to preserve the spirit of Red’s while introducing it to a new generation of locals and tourists alike.

“Red’s started out as a very tiny indoor-only restaurant that seated about 35 people,” Tanner said. “It always had a four-hour wait to get in. And then as they grew, they built on more configurations of Red’s. It’s a tiny place but it has three separate kitchens. We unload seafood o the dock. So it’s not your typical everyday type of restaurant where you just order product in and put it away on the shelf.”

VJ SPREAD

This hyper-fresh philosophy, along with a robust menu, have cemented Red’s as a fan-favorite with shore regulars. Naturally, the menu includes local lobster, served the traditional way or in a gooey mac and cheese. The crab cakes are also a cult classic, as is the Fra Diavolo sauce, courtesy of the Red’s head chef, who has been with the restaurant since its doors first opened. Local scallopers, who forage in the waters around Point Pleasant, haul in their harvest each day to join platters of shrimp and fillets of fish. Tanner and Cleary know how to walk the tightrope between change and consistency, always looking to improve upon Red’s legacy without touching what makes it special. is summer, despite an abundance of outdoor seating, their reservation books are already filling up. (Reservations at Red’s are available in blocks 60 days in advance.) Those who first wandered into the restaurant 20-plus years ago still drop in for dinner.

“I think it’s going to be a breakout year,” Tanner said. “I’m excited that people have this eagerness to get out and dine out. If the weather’s on our side, I think this is going to be one of the busiest years we’ve had. I’m excited to see people happy.”

Red’s Lobster Pot
57 Inlet Drive, Point Pleasant Beach
732.295.6622 / redslobsterpot.com