There has been a lot of change in recent years at the Jersey Shore.

While some new great restaurants have joined the community, a lot of memorable spots are no longer here and are often talked about and missed by locals and summer tourist who used to fill many of these spots.

Writer Peter Genovese over at put together a list of the 51 beloved New Jersey restaurants that closed too soon, with eight local spots making the list.

Read More: Bars in South Jersey You Miss the Most

Here are eight restaurants in New Jersey that closed too soon.

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Captain Starn's, Atlantic City

“Out of the water into the pan” was the slogan at Capt. Starn’s, one of the nation’s most famous seafood restaurants in its heyday. The waterfront complex included the restaurant, docks, fish market and sea lions in a tank. “Starn’s was one of the city’s last must-see attractions,” according to one account. It closed in 1979.

Captain Starn's was located in the Inlet section of Atlantic City.

Hackney’s, Atlantic City

Harry Hackney was known as the Lobster King; a sign above the lobster tanks inside his restaurant read: “Harry Hackney says, Never Eat a Lobster Until It Has Been Purified.” The massive oceanfront restaurant — it could hold up to 3,000 diners — was a far cry from the lunch wagon Hackney once sold clams from. It took up a full block of the Atlantic City Boardwalk along Absecon Inlet, and by one account was the biggest seafood restaurant in the world. The complex included the Miss America Cocktail Lounge, and the menus all had the same message: “This is your menu. You may take it with you.”

Hackney’s was sold to outside owners, who operated the restaurant into the early 1980s, shut it down, then sold it in 1993. The new owners announced an ambitious renovation, but Hackney’s never reopened. It was demolished in the late 1990s.

Hackney's was located on the boardwalk at Maine Ave in Atlantic City.

Torelli’s Burgers, Millville


Jim’s Lunch is Millville’s claim to culinary fame, but ask any longtime Holly City resident what eatery they miss most, and chances are they’ll answer Torelli’s. Their burgers were legendary, but you had to get there early because when Joe Torelli ran out of the 300 burgers he allotted for each day, usually around 11 a.m., he closed up shop. The space later became Billy D’s and Bruni’s Breakfast & Burgers, but neither matched Torelli’s in Millville memories.

Torelli's Burgers was located at 432 N High Street in Millville and became Billy D's.  It is now Bruni's Breakfast & Burgers.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Zaberer’s, North Wildwood

You could get lost inside Zaberer’s — the four dining rooms could accommodate 1,000 people. There were four lounges, even two playrooms for the kids. Ed Zaberer — the Host of the Jersey Coast would soon become his nickname — opened it in 1955.

“It featured hundreds of antique Tiffany lamps, stained glass portraits, paintings and many, many other neat features, all housed in a unique labyrinth of separate, themed rooms,” an admirer said on the Doo Wop Preservation League website.

Zaberer would eventually sell the business and retire. Under a new owner, the property went into foreclosure. It would later be destroyed by a fire.

A four alarm fire burned Zaberer's to the ground in June of 1992, but it will always be remembered for its famous "Welcome to Zaberville" sign that is now in the Wildwood Doo Wop Museum.

Kosich's Korner | YouTube
Kosich's Korner | YouTube

Campbell’s Seafood Kitchen, Ocean City

When Patch asked readers what Ocean City businesses they missed the most, Campbell’s Seafood Kitchen topped the list. You could pick up fried shrimp, steamed clams, fried scallops, soft shell crabs and the popular Baked Crab Imperial, but Campbell’s was just as well known for its fried chicken.

“I remember my parents taking me there as a kid in the late 60′s, early 70′s and introduced me to the fried clams,” Daniel Musselman said on a Facebook page dedicated to memories of Campbell’s. “To this day I’ve never tasted any better clams. It must have been the secret ingredients of the batter!”

Campbell's Seafood Kitchen was located at 3231 Asbury Ave in Ocean City.

Facebook: Campbell's Seafood Kitchen
Facebook: Campbell's Seafood Kitchen

Voltaco’s, Ocean City

The blue-awninged Voltaco’s - takeout only since its beginning in 1954 - was adored by locals and visitors for its honest, homemade Italian food. But all good things must come to an end. Voltaco’s closed for good in 2022. “In a nutshell, I’m ready for a change,” explained owner Jeff Taccarino.

The popular sandwich shop was located at 957 West Ave and closed its doors for good in 2022.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Wards Pastry, Ocean City

Wards Pastry was in business a mere 98 years before closing in 2022; the owners cited retirement plans and rising costs. It was known for doughnuts, pastries, cookies and cakes, but its bggest seller was scrapple pie.

Ward's Pastry was located at 730 Asbury Ave in Ocean City and closed in 2022 after 98 years in business.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Busch’s Seafood Restaurant, Sea Isle City

At Busch’s, you started with the famous she-crab soup, then worked your way down the menu.

One of the Shore’s seafood legends, Busch’s opened in 1882, and the 450-seat restaurant took up an entire city block. Only three people ever made the she-crab soup, and “two of them are dead,” owner Al Schettig said in 2014.

“Please come back. Even in limited take out form. Holy moly I miss the soup,” a patron begged on the restaurant’s Facebook page in 2014, when the owners announced plans to scale back the operation, with takeout only, plus a bar and packaged goods store.

Busch’s was sold later that year.

Busch's Seafood Restaurant was located at 8700 Landis Ave in the Townsend's Inlet section of Sea Isle City and was demolished back in 2014.

Today, Busch's Seafood Restaurant is The Dunes at Shorebreak Resorts.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Do you remember these great South Bars?

South Jersey Bars You Miss Most

By far Maloney's in Margate is a bar most people in South Jersey miss, but there are so many other bars we miss too.

Gallery Credit: Mike Gill

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