Pier Village Offers Peerless Shopping Experience
Shopping center helping in revitalization of Long Branch
LONG BRANCH - Pier Village reminds Nada Koenigsberg of her young days in Italy.
"I remember in town there was a piazza," she recalls. "A place where the people could gather and not only shop, but talk and socialize. That's what attracted me to Pier Village."
Koenigsberg runs two shops at Pier Village, Cake Bake & Roll and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and could not be happier with her decisions. She sees Pier Village as "an alternative" to the impersonal mega-mall. She points to her own place, Cake Bake & Roll, as somewhere where people can stop and socialize and relax while on a shopping tour of Pier Village's upscale shops and eateries.
When it opened in August 2006, Pier Village was cited by Mayor Adam Schneider as proof that the vision of the city's revitalization is succeeding. Since then the rebuilding of Long Branch has continued, slowed by the economy, but Pier Village still stands proud as a successful combination of residential, business and tourist attraction.
Whatever time of the year, Pier Village offers dining opportunities from morning to night and a variety of cuisines that will require several visits to appreciate.
Morning people can start their day with coffee or fuel up with a breakfast of their choice at The Turning Point, The Corner Café and Bistro or Cake Bake & Roll. At lunch the choices expand to include Michael Angelo's Pizzeria, Sawa Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Stewarts Root Beer, It's Greek To Me, Shaka, The Wine Loft, McLoone's Pier House, Sirena Ristorante and Avenue & Le Club with many of the latter staying open late on weekends.
Many of these restaurants enjoy an impressive ocean view, but, then again, no place in Pier Village has a poor view. The Boardwalk and Promenade offer a carefully maintained and landscaped park-like environment that attracts a large number of people who come to walk and enjoy the atmosphere.
It is perfect for people-watchers and an added benefit to storeowners who enjoy a stream of window shoppers who are enticed to come in, browse and, ultimately, purchase.
And shoppers looking for a unique item or present have a variety of choices considering the shops available.
Fashionistas will feel right at home at clothing stores like The Bee, Nirvana and Jenna & Molly's regular and "Underground" shops.
Finding unique items for the home can be as simple as visiting The Stone Hut, Space Interiors or Candy's Cottage & Primo Glass. And if shopping proves an exhilarating-but-exhausting experience shoppers can recharge at Gold's Gym or relax at Aquamedica Salon & Day Spa.
In December, the holiday spirit can be seen everywhere at Pier Village. The Promenade and Boardwalk are decorated with wreaths, trees and holiday lights.
The Holiday Court features events, entertainment, a gift wrap and ship center, and valet parking. Separate round tents feature dining and lounge area and Santa's Workshop, with visits and photos with Santa, hot chocolate and goodies for the younger crowd, set along with a heated oval tent offering specialty items.
The Holiday Court also hosts entertainment to delight weekend shoppers. The schedule for the remainder of this holiday season includes:
Thursday, Dec. 16: School of Rock - 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 17: Little Rockers - 2 p.m.; Decades Invasion - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 18: Luminaria Lighting; Little Rockers - 2 p.m.; The Shrewsbury Chorale Strolling Carolers - 3 p.m.; School of Rock - 5 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 23: Procrastinator Appreciation Day, last minute shopping specials and promotions.
The Turning Point and TP News & Cafe: (732) 923-1104, Monday-Sunday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Serving breakfast and lunch meals using the freshest ingredients available.
Michael Angelo's Pizzeria (732) 222-8490, Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Tuscan pizzeria featuring brick oven and conventional hand-tossed pizzas.
Sawa Steakhouse & Sushi Bar: (732) 229-0600, Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. and Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. An authentic Japanese restaurant with a full bar and dining areas.
Stewarts Root Beer: (732) 229-0404, Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m, Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. A casual, 1950's-style burger and root beer restaurant geared to families and casual diners.
It's Greek To Me: (732) 571-0222, Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Authentic Greek specialties come alive in this casual family-style restaurant.
The Corner Cafe & Bistro: (732) 759-8480, Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. A unique cafe lounge that will indulge your taste buds.
Shaka: (732) 272-1542, Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Big Island style, quick service restaurant serving authentic surf inspired cuisine.
The Wine Loft: (732) 222-7770, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Enjoy the perfect marriage of light fare with the perfect potables.
Cake Bake & Roll: (732) 483-6286, Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday-Sunday 7 a.m. - Midnight. Bakery, Bistro & Boutique.
McLoone's Pier House: (732) 923-1006, Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Fine American cuisine with panoramic ocean views.
Avenue & Le Club: (732) 759-2900, Monday-Thurs: 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., Saturday 5:30 p.m. - 12 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. An international wine list complements delectable bistro favorites.
Sirena Ristorante: (732) 222-1119, Monday-Wednesday: Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Dinner 4 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday: Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Dinner 4 p.m. - 11 p.m., Sunday: Dinner Only Noon - 9:30 p.m. A fun, casual bar and restaurant serving regional and contemporary Italian fare.
Paws And Pose: (732) 222-8033, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. A pet-friendly boutique for dogs, cats and people who love them.
The Stone Hut: (732) 222-6620, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Handcrafted pieces from artisans around the world.
The Bee: (732) 923-0505, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Women's fashion items that appeal to a variety of tastes.
Nirvana: (732) 222-7004, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. A denim-driven specialty store carrying the latest trends in young contemporary fashion.
RSI Bank: (732) 263-1400, Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Sunday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (seasonal) A small, community-orientated financial institution looking to shift power in the financial system away from Wall Street and back to Main Street.
Space Interiors: (732) 263-0333, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. A boutique store offering celebrated brands of contemporary furniture.
Jenna & Molly: (732) 222-7766, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Trendy contemporary clothing. Reasonably priced, without sacrificing style and quality.
Jenna & Molly Undercover: (732) 222-4900, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Gold's Gym: (732) 229-8229: Mon-Thursday 5 a.m. - 11 p.m., Friday 5 a.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday: 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. The most respected name in fitness provides a 22,000 square foot facility.
Aquamedica Salon & Day Spa: (732) 222-8611, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. A full-service day spa offering the latest in spa therapies.
Aloha Grove: (732) 263-0100, Sunday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Outfitters for the island-minded.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: (732) 222-7623, Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. The number one destination for chocolate lovers.
Carter & Cavero: (732) 222-6888, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. An old world Olive Oil Company that embraces a tasteful, authentic, healthy way of living.
Fresh Boutique: (732) 222-6007, Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Friday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Candy's Cottage & Primo Glass: (732) 222-1281, A fabulous & fun shop in featuring unusual coastal home decor, and furniture.
Pier Village Gallery & The View at Beachfront North: Monday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.