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Cashion’s Eat Place owners John Manolatos and Justin Abad are taking over the just-shuttered Taan Noodles space next door to open a shore-inspired spot called Pop’s Seabar this fall.
The casual no-reservations restaurant and bar takes inspiration from the seafood shacks that both owners frequented during summers spent with their families at the beach—the Eastern Shore for Manolatos and the Gulf Coast of Florida for Abad. Chef Manolatos’ menu will include peel-and-eat shrimp, burgers, hot dogs, Taylor pork rolls, crab cake sandwiches, and grilled mahi-mahi. Many of the seafood offerings will be available as platters or as sandwiches. Also get ready for “boardwalk chicken”: fried popcorn chicken with “Jersey sauce,” a kind of spicy remoulade. Most of the food will come in plastic baskets.
A mezzanine-level raw bar—or “seabar”—will look down over the main dining room. It will supply about five or six types of rotating oysters (East and West coast) plus clams and the occasional lobster special.
The bar scene will also be big: Abad is looking for some talented bartenders to concoct a cocktail menu. (Look out for a take on an orange crush.) He also plans to have one local draft beer plus mostly canned beers—all of which will cost under $6 and be served with koozies. Pop’s Seabar will have its own branded koozies that guests can take home for $1, or they can bring in one of their own koozies to swap for free.
The spot will have a beach shack look with lots of wood and crab traps integrated into the decor. The bar will be relocated or extended, and the majority of seating will consist of high-tops, except for one big table for six to eight.
Pop’s Seabar is the first project that Manolatos and Abad have started together from the conceptual phase. They purchased Cashion’s from chef Ann Cashion and John Fulchino in 2007. “This is our opportunity to show people a little bit more of who we are after seven years,” says Abad. “A side of us that doesn’t have the suit and tie on.”
The restaurant’s name is a nod to the fact that Manolatos and Abad have both always called their fathers “pop.” “They were both so instrumental in supporting our ambition taking over Cashion’s seven years ago and supporting our careers,” Abad says. “They’re very, very strong influences in our lives, respectively.”
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, come September. In the meantime, look out for previews of Pop’s Seabar at Cashion’s on Mondays or late nights over the coming months. In other words, stay tuned for “Pop’s pop-ups.”
Photo by Jessica Sidman