Locals Bid Farewell To Legendary Lobster House

first_imgarry’s Lobster House in Sea Bright shuttered its doors for good on Sunday. Faithful patrons and friends turned out to say goodbye. Photo: Jay CookBy Jay CookSEA BRIGHT – Harry’s Lobster House, a legendary Sea Bright eatery for the last 70 years, closed its doors for the final time Sunday, Jan. 10. The restaurant, owned by Lou Jacoubs, outlasted a fire and multiple hurricanes that ravaged the Jersey Shore, all while it stayed in his family.An auction was set to occur Sunday night, with everything in the restaurant up for sale, ranging from both dartboards to cooking equipment.The torrential downpours throughout Saturday night could not keep the locals from celebrating Harry’s, instead of saying a final goodbye.A “Party This Way” sign adorned the front window, leading into the restaurant where streamers hung from the ceiling, patrons sporting tie-dye shirts were spotted across the restaurant, and the band Mack and Friends, led by singer and harmonica player Sandy Mack, began the festivities at around 5:30 p.m.“The bands love playing here. They like the pay, it’s better than most places, and it is just a great local place,” said Lynne Szwede, manager/music organizer at Harry’s.Szwede, who has been with Harry’s since 2013, reminisced on what was a great run. “I started working here in the summer after Sandy. I previously knew Lou, and one night he asked me to come in and help. Nobody was really consistently booking the bands, so I decided I was going to keep doing that.”“The business has changed since Hurricane Sandy,” said Szwede. “Harry’s was always known as a white gloves and white tablecloth kind of place, and it really turned into a great spot for the local music scene. The growth of the music in the area really created that change.”Friends turned out to wish Harry’s Lobster House goodbye. Photo: Jay CookSzwede lives in Sea Bright, and mentioned that the ability to either walk or ride her bike to work was a great bargaining chip for her to keep coming back. Despite it being the end of an era in her eyes, she recalled one of her favorite memories. “One of my favorites here has to be when we would have music outside at the Garden during the summer, and people who were stuck in traffic would just park their cars and come over to listen to the music.”While Szwede ran the front end of the restaurant, the mastermind behind the scenes was owner and head chef Lou Jacoubs. The restaurant has been in his family for over 70 years, and while the party transpired in the front of house, Jacoubs was hard at work in the back.As the only cook in the kitchen, Jacoubs donned a sleeveless tee with his wild white hair flowing about. He was hard at work finishing off a pair of crabcake sandwiches while a few more orders came into the kitchen.“My mother, Anna, she really perpetuated it all,” Jacoubs said, recalling how the restaurant grew. “On Easter Sunday in 1963, the restaurant burned to the ground. On Mother’s Day in 1964, she had it back up and running.”Although Jacoubs is not sure what is in store for him next, that did not stop him from giving one last cooking lesson to Susan Arscott, a Little Silver resident. “Lou has been doing the lessons for a long time, and for the past five years I’ve been coming to them,” she said, looking on as Jacoubs diced up celery and carrots for a soup. “He makes everything from scratch, and the way he makes a lobster, nobody does it like him. This place was a hidden gem that we first didn’t know about, but we come all the time.”For the locals in the area, it will be hard to say goodbye to Harry’s, especially for Joe and Sarah Lepis, who live in the North Beach area of Sea Bright. “We’ve been coming here since 1987 when we first moved in, and in our time spent here, we have met a lot of great local people,” remarked Joe Lepis.“Probably my best memory of Harry’s would have to be when they had ‘Friday Night’s with Slick,’ who used to play in Jefferson Starship,” he recalled. “Also, spending Sundays outdoors in the Garden during the summer was great as well.”“This has become one of our own spots, especially since when Donovan’s and the Mad Hatter closed after Sandy,” said Sarah Lepis. “Of course we are going to support all of the local businesses, but it is going to be sad to see Harry’s go.”last_img read more