The Whitechapel Projects - Nano-brewery in Long Branch NJ

As I mentioned on the Craft Brewery/Alcohol Scene thread , WCP opened in Long Branch last month. Finally got over there last night, and I have to say that I was impressed by THE FOOD as much as the vibe/decor. The short version: B+ out of the gate. Food was VERY well done and the offerings a surprise, beer was good, bread is being made in-house, and the service needs work. I suspect this will be in semi-regular rotation with me/my friends during the off-season.

The long version:
Three of us went early, arriving around 6pm, and the place was already pushing half full (@gracieggg I thought of you as there were friends there with strollers over in the corner). Then it was the menu that shocked me. I’ve seen the Specials posted on their Instagram acct (which is still all they seem to use–their website still redirects to it–don’t get me started) and really expected that was the entire menu (or that maybe there were a handful of other regular items). Oh no–there’s a full selection of apps and sandwiches and entrees, and most of them read really well. If anything, I thought there would be a giant beer menu but that’s what’s limited. Since I’m not a big beer drinker (rarely if at all), I didn’t mind. They have a handful of cocktails available + a red and a white wine as well.

We shared two apps that I knew I had to try after seeing the list online–Ironbound Pigs in a Blanket and Bombay Duck Wings. Let’s just say you have me at chorizo AND at duck wings. The “piggies” were delicious and a perfect plate to share between three of us. Not what I imagined they’d be; they’ve taken the chorizo out of the casing and wrapped it in puff pastry, then sliced each pastry in to…6 pieces? The two full pastries on the plate were served with a kale and garlic dip on the side. All DELICIOUS, although I did comment that the texture/lack of casing was a surprise and it felt like a corned beef hash, and my friends agreed.

The duck wings were very tasty, but this is now the second time I’ve had a similar dish and I have the same problem–between having been confited (is that a word?) and hitting the fryer, they seem a little shrunken. They weren’t dried out, but there’s a difference between a meaty chicken wing and a duck wing prepped this way (leg-like portion of the wing only). The sweet/spicy sauce was very tasty, and the side of spiralized daikon and carrots were also consumed.

My friends ordered the HoJos Clam Roll and the Mississippi Roast sandwich, both of which came with hand-cut fries that were extra yummy in the aforementioned dip. :grin: I didn’t try either sandwich, but I’m DYING to get back there to try the lamb merguez sandwich (you also have me at lamb) just so I can eat that mini-baguette. This is Hoboken-quality bread (crusty exterior, big bubbles inside) but we confirmed with two members of the staff that IT’S MADE IN-HOUSE. Holy crap, I’m going to enjoy that.

As I mentioned in the other thread, the article about WCP (as they call it) referred to it as a “brewery, restaurant, arts and performance space” and I can see all of that. The decor is sparse, but nicely done; the Chapel space (where live music happens) is painted white and it’s inviting, with mostly communal tables + a handful of high-tops with chairs and pews with tables. Definitely the quieter of the two main spaces AT FIRST. The main room has a more industrial look to it, but it’s all clean/new. The only objection we had is there is NOTHING to absorb sound. I fully understand wanting a boisterous/fun vibe, but having to shout at people sitting next to and across a small table is just silly. Something under the tables/benches to absorb sound would go a long way. (Fwiw I have the same issue with the Biergarten here in AP.) The outdoor patio space that you walk through to get in to the brewery is lovely and it’s going to be PACKED in warmer weather (when I won’t go to Long Branch), just as the roof at the Festhalle is in AP).

Tap sharing is also happening at WPC…they posted about it today; tonight it’s Jug Handle Brewing (Tinton Falls) and Last Wave (Pt Pleasant). This MAY explain one of the odd service issues we encountered. They sell 3oz, 10oz, or 14oz pours (in VERY cool glasses that have textured measurement lines on the exterior). Our waitress told us up front “I can’t offer 14oz pours tonight” AND they were out of the Saison. My best guess is they didn’t’ expect to be as busy as they are this quickly and were concerned that they don’t have enough stock to get through the weekend. If that’s the case, it’s a good problem, no?

The other service issues were just that; issues—and they can all be resolved with some time and oversight. When we arrived, we were told to grab a seat wherever we wanted to and someone would come over (great). We were given menus but then sat for a good 7-8 minutes before someone came to ask if anyone had helped us yet. By then we knew what we wanted to eat AND drink, so we got it all in motion at once. My friends ended up with two different kinds of beer that they both were happy with. Apps started to arrive quickly (great!) and then suddenly we had everything on the table at once (not necessary). Separate of that, they’ve obviously all been instructed to clear things off the table ALL THE TIME. We had a series of people come by to take things away that we hadn’t finished, including my friend’s knife, which she later wished she had. Over-eager? Perhaps. But the thing that REALLY got us was that nobody EVER asked if we wanted another drink or even their one dessert. Lots of people bussing, but none of them were actually waiting on tables! We watched the same scenario all around us, so again, I think they just need some management/instructions. They obviously aren’t assigned to sections (or even rooms), which is great in terms of it being casual, but not great when you sit for (wait for it, we DID time it) 30+ minutes before flagging someone down to get a check. We were busy chatting and didn’t mind, but then it became a joke. The people at the next table had the same problem, and we were JOKING that it would be very easy to just leave. Not something we’d ever do, but I bet it will happen if they don’t start paying attention. In the end, someone other than our waitress had the mini-tablet on her wrist (really) and we paid the check. By the time we left, the place was just about full. This is going to be nuts once the Monmouth U kids are back in town AND during the summer, so I suggest going now and in to the spring while we can enjoy it!

ETA: Open Mic on Wednesday nights and if I have it correct, they’re closed on Sundays.

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Wow thanks for taking one for the team and the detailed write up! I’m excited to check it out next time we are down there!

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Drove by 30 minutes ago…lots of cars! I need to give this spot a try.

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Holler if you want company…I’m anxious to try that merguez sandwich :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

next week should work I think.

Is it me or this place really weird outside? It is probably one of the oddest places I have seen in a while. From the “art” work on the side of the building, to the massive amount of white brick and lack of any decent light fixtures, this place is just bizzare.

I realize it isn’t a great neighborhood so they probably took this into account and didn’t want windows and lights which would probably get destroyed. However, it is just so uninviting. Curlz is probably the only reason I actually want to try it…oh and I like beer :slight_smile:

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It’s funny… Coming up Ocean Avenue from AP I commented to my friends about the enormous transmission tower… I actually said it was very Rocky Horror! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Then we parked in that “lot“ because the actual parking lot was already full that night.
I’m very curious to drive by there during the day and see what it looks like. It’s obvious that it was once a factory or something similar and I think they were determined to retain that look. That said, even the worst parts of that town aren’t as bad as what AP used to be when I first started coming down here!

Even the parking is weird but it is ample.

On Wednesday they leveled the windmill and that entire building. More condos :confused:

This place seems like it belongs in asbury. It has a much more AP vibe to me than it does LB. Hopefully they do well and turn that block around. I’m rooting for them.

For the last decade it has been a vacant building…possibly much longer but at least from what I know it’s been vacant at least 12 years

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I think the initial article that I read said they’ve been working on that building for 7 years, so you’re probably right. I agree the place has an AP vibe inside as well-and if Long Branch can get some of that going, I think it would be fantastic! In the off-season of course…

I’ve been there a few times now so I have a fuller experience on WCP. It is located at an unusual building in Long Branch. I’m sure that visiting DUMBO spots was strange at first. Two blocks from the beach, how bad can that be. My reaction was the limited beer selection with many sold-out. They have adjusted their beer menu by supplementing with beer from other breweries like Jughandle and Last Wave. It was family night and we went to try their food offerings like steamed mussels, deep-fried burger, Mississippi roast (brisket on baugette), clam sandwich, sliced ham with egg open sandwich. All very good except maybe the ham egg dish. Hand cut fries were hot and crispy. This may be my new locals place. Parking was easy with Long Branch lot next door (free during off season). Things will change dramatically once the beaches are opened and the outdoor beer garden is packing them in.

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What beers did you enjoy?

Last night no WCP beers were available. I guess nano means kegs empty fast.
Jughandle Layback IPA - OK
Last Wave double IPA - better

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I was back here last night and the place was hopping thanks to a local organization holding an event there… I suspect you won’t be able to touch the place once we get past Memorial Day weekend. I finally saw the outdoor patio that abuts Ocean Avenue – it’s huge and I think it will be packed to the gills all summer. If you want to check this place out, now is the time to do it…

So I went in today (Sunday) place has a feel to it like Harry’s Roadhouse had years ago on Cookman Ave.
Except Harry’s didn’t have baby carrying bearded plaid wearing hipsters at the bar.
All GF and I wanted was a beer a decent glass of wine a salad & a burger.
Can’t get that here on Sunday :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
Brunch menu was not what we wanted
Beverage menu wasn’t strong enough to stay for a drink and we didn’t like the idea of kids in a bar
Went to Rooney’s our happy place had lobster and an ocean view .
My Sunday was saved.

Add images

Nice…tell me about this lobster :slight_smile:

Love Rooney’s lobster
Each was closer to 2 lbs than 1.5
Broiled to perfection with a side of mashed potatoes & fried Brussels Sprouts
Wine was something she liked
I was drinking Sam Adams seasonal
Nothing better on a Sunday

Nice! How much did those run? Last night 2 lb dish was 49.95 and stuffed was 59.95 at navesink fishery. I didn’t have that but considered one.

I don’t know girlfriend treated early Birthday present

Four of us finally got here on Saturday afternoon. A cool place. Every employee who makes eye contact is very friendly and welcoming. We sat at a table near the rear glass wall. Our friends had light ales and the DH and I had a Brotherton IPA and Brotherton Jersey Devil Double IPA, respectively. They were okay. Our overattentive yet forgetful server insisted the menus and musical events are on the website, but I can only find their “soft opening” food menu online. I’d like to refer to the website to accurately describe a whiskey/bourbon that we shared. It’s distilled in New York somewhere. It had a delicious smokey, almost hoppy, flavor. We ordered the poutine and shared it four ways. It was evil and delicious. We needed to save room for dinner at Oak Avenue Kitchen or would have explored the menu further. Looking forward to spending future afternoons here.

Went for brunch on Sunday. The picture that they posted on FB of the freshly baked bread loaves to be used for French toast did the trick. I looked at the brunch menu and that was it. An acoustic duo was playing in the side room. We sat in the main room near the door so we could enjoy the music but still hear each other. We ordered coffee and tea. They brought me stevia for my tea, but the tea never came. I was assured many times that it was coming–they just needed to heat the water. While we waited for our beverages, every server that walked by asked us if we had been taken care of. Everybody who works there is so friendly. Love the atmosphere.

I ordered the fried bologna sandwich and the DH ordered the salmon benedict. Both were fantastic. The home fries were the best I’ve had in ages. The salmon benedict had too much béarnaise for his taste. Next time, he’ll ask them to put it on the side.

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We FINALLY made it here yesterday for an early dinner. The place is cool with lots of space but still quite unorganized. I seriously think something as simple as some large signage would GREATLY improve the experience. One big one when you walk in explaining what each room entails and what you can/can’t do there. People were totally confused (as was the staff) about what could be ordered in various places. But, the cool part is your tab will follow you around as you experience the place. We ordered pork belly buns, stuffed clams, vegan ban mi and a grilled chicken sandwich (in my defense, I was hoping the kid would eat this). Everything was quite tasty. We really enjoyed the food and the beers. Very relaxed environment. It just needs some finesse. The back outside section looks like they just opened with overgrown gardens, various unfinished materials and this big pizza oven with seemly no point. They are SO CLOSE. A bit more communication both internal and external would go a long way.


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