Local Round-Up: Seafood Coming and Going in Holmdel and Matawan

This is going to be a seafood-centric post. Less than 24 hours after reporting on the recent closure of Zhang’s Grille in Holmdel and that a seafood restaurant would be replacing it, Clipper Magazine arrived in my mailbox today with a full menu from the new business. Apparently, in a span of two weeks (according to a post I found from their GM), Zhang’s closed and Peter’s Crab and Steakhouse managed to already have their grand opening. They currently have no website or Facebook (they do have an Instagram). This warp-speed turnaround must have been the result of buying the building lock, stock, and barrel, as the interior is identical. The full-service bar will remain.

Once again, we wish them luck and hope that all new restaurants succeed. I really hope they can get some decent signage up soon (and an exterior that does not look abandoned, as it did just two or three days ago when I drove by) as well as a working website. The turnover in this area for dining establishments is fierce, and if you don’t hit the ground running, it can be hard to catch up. As you can see above, their menu includes four different cuts of steak and a variety of pasta, seafood entrees, combos, and seafood by the pound (such as king crab legs for $38/lb).

As one seafood restaurant joins us, another one bites the dust. The maligned and outrageously dramatic Pride of the Sea Fishery Restaurant in Matawan is no more. They only lasted about seven months, and that may be a long estimate. The owner had caused quite a stir on social media by posting rants and comments directed at customers in several Matawan-centered Facebook groups. He called people out, insulted them, brought up politics when they had no business being brought up in a conversation about fish, and thoroughly managed to piss off an entire populace.

The only reason I thought to investigate if they were still open was recalling not seeing any comments from the owner or customers in the last few weeks. After speaking to a contact in Matawan, she forwarded me a picture of a Facebook post where someone said they went up to the door to find the place out of business. The reason? Non-payment of rent.

I do not say this often, but good riddance. There came a point where the quality of food did not even matter. Food-related reviews were generally positive, but that was eclipsed by severe social media and image mismanagement. The first official review they ever shared from some online outlet was essentially a press release where the author compared eating Pride of the Sea’s crab cakes to viewing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. It is hard to go anywhere but down after that.

Am I the only one who feels like this place was a scam? They roared onto the scene with a blitz of posts and buzz and have now fizzled out to the point where every single post on their Facebook dating back to the beginning has been erased. The owner has even removed all mention on his own profile, which is public. What the hell happened?



  1. I love Clipper Magazine. That’s a pretty damn ambitious menu! And crawfish $12/pound? Good Lord! I remember back when I was a rookie cop there was a seafood store right across from my police station. When I got off work every night at 11:00PM I could smell the crawfish boiling and it would draw me across the street. They had a special. 3 pounds of boiled crawfish for $2.89. I’d get three pounds of crawfish and an ice cold quart of Budweiser for under $5.


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