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The Rusty Nail
Ranked #35 of 142 Restaurants in Cape May
Price range: $7 - $38
Cuisines: American, Bar, Grill
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery
Description: "The Nail," as it's known by the locals, is the famed iconic surfer bar and restaurant that made a name for itself in the '70s. And it's right here at the Beach Shack, just steps away from your room. From lifeguards and surfers to beautiful beach bunnies, they all gathered around the wood bar that was rumored to be the longest in all of Cape May. Now it's your turn to join in the fun for breakfast, lunch, dinner or its famed happy hour. Kids' meals are served on a souvenir Beach Shack Frisbee, giving you a fun after-dinner activity. Indoor spaces spill into outdoor seating, sand bar, fire pit and shuffleboard. Young, old and even four-legged friends are invited in from the beach for live entertainment and Rusty Nail's beach blanket comfort food that can also be wrapped to go.
Reviewed September 2, 2012

Great atmosphere for after beach beers and burgers, the conch fritters,with spicy jelly are
A good starter. Friday Afternoon to evening, Carl Behrens provides the music via a solo guitar
and a fantastic party attitude. So drop by after the beach,for a cold one and some apps.

Breakfast (eggs,sausage, toast, and hash browns) you know the kind of breakfast you can't eat every day of the week but woth the indulgance after a god morning walk along the beach.
I've stooped by numerous times hoping for improvement buts its always been unremarkable, good but does not qualify as great and worth the extra calories.

Service except for the bar tenders is ok but not great, pretty uncoordinated, and they don't seem to be into it.
I rate it very good just for the post beach party atmosphere,the music and burgers. Fair Winds and Safe Travels Captain Rob

Thank CaptRobsPortsofCall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 30, 2012

There are three different places to register your name to get a table and each seemed indifferent if you got a table or not. There's a fire pit outside and a bar, picnic tables outside with umbrellas and patio seating. There was also guitar player that Wednesday night that might have sounded great with less volume and bass but as it was just sounding like low noise.
There's also a bar inside with 4 or 5 TV's and tables in a dining where it's exclusively for dining.
Most items were $20-30, portions were fair if the price was about $10 less. Nice selection of beers.
One problem, of our party found a long hair in the sandwich which absolutely destroyed the evening. They didn't charge but it should never have happened.

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Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

The band was great—so much so I danced even with a bad foot.
The lead guitarist looked like Sgt. Floyd Pepper from the Muppets Band and was so deadpan killed me...People were all extremely friendly...

1  Thank bentherebefore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Wow, zero idea why people rave about this place.

Food: Conch fritters, clam strips, fluke sandwich, oysters, crab & portabello salad. The two fried things tasted like they bought them pre-made at Restaurant Depot. I've had better clam strips in Nebraska. The oysters had been shucked hours (24+?) earlier, had no liquor, popped bellies, and were all together mangled. Points for not being actually bad, but those points will be quickly lost. Fluke sandwich was 1/2 roll, 1/4 breading, and 1/4 fluke. The salad was the one redeeming thing, with some delicious crab inside of a well cooked mushroom cap.

But that brings me to the other problem with the food: the price. Cape May food is altogether a rip, but this was insane. $14 for a little mushroom on a plate with a bit of greens around it. $12 for my bread sandwich, etc.

Beer. Read all over how the Rusty Nail has the coldest beer in town. Well, they serve it in iced glasses, what a novelty. Those glasses are also about 10oz and cost what a pint costs everywhere else in town. Ripoff.

Seating: what a mess. Two hostess stands, one for inside one for outside. The outside also has self-seating for parties of 4 or more that was 70% empty. Actually I can let this alone, despite that seating looking better. I'm sure when it's mobbed the rule makes sense.

I seriously do not understand why anyone would go here. Just thinking about the visit for this review gets me mad. Avoid.

Thank gvanullen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

I stayed at the Beach Shack and ate here quite a bit. I would pass on dinner, although it may be ok if you stick to sandwiches. We tried the scallops and crab cakes and found both to be underwhelming and overpriced. Burgers at lunch were good quality but not cooked to our liking. Ordering and eating lunch beachside is pretty awesome though. Really liked their breakfast and thought that was reasonably priced--loved their western omelet!

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Thank B M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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