Jack, Flo and the four children, John (Bud), Al, Ken and
Ruth, worked hard together selling bait, renting rowboats
and cooking dinners for fishing parties that would come
down on the train Friday night, paying $2.50 for room and
board. Their two-story houseboat, with a potbelly stove,
operated seasonally, and remains today as the interior of
the main dining room and reception area. Visitors in the
early days arrived by steamer or train, when the Central
Railroad of NJ came from Jersey City and stopped at
Highlands Station, just outside Bahrs’ front door, on its way
to Long Branch. From the 1940s to the 1970s, Bud and his
wife Peg grew the business to a year-round destination,
entertaining seafood lovers visiting from Monmouth Park,
the Garden State Arts Center and local beaches. Famous
stars such as Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Ernest Borgnine
and many more have enjoyed lobster dinners at Bahrs.
After Bud and Peg officially retired in 1974, the restaurant
has been owned and operated by Ray Cosgrove and
his son Jay, the fourth-generation great-grandson of the
founders. Together, they have expanded the facility to
include Moby’s Outside Deck & Lobster Pound as well as
the original marina facility. The family and experienced,
dedicated staff have served more than 12 million customers.
Bahrs Landing is considered one of New Jersey’s famous
landmarks as well as one of the country’s oldest familyrun
restaurants, specializing in catering to large and small
groups, friendly service and creating special memories for
you and your family!
BAHRS LANDING Famous Seafood Restaurant & Marina
Founder John “Jack” Bahrs, grandson of a ship captain, and his
wife, Florence, who had their beginning in the Dutch Neck section
of Newark, purchased a small boat rental business on Cedar Street
in Highlands to operate in the summer, returning to their necktiemanufacturing
business in Newark in the off-season. In 1917, they
purchased the beached boathouse at the current Bahrs location,
moved the rental boats over and started cooking up chowder.
The rest is history!
Photo by C. Leslie