1. It’s better than ever. Dock’s is an Atlantic City institution. Perhaps the ultimate Atlantic City institution. Opening its doors in 1897, it holds the proud distinction of being one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Recently completing an impressive and extensive remodel, Dock’s looks better than ever with expanded dining space and quadrupled seating at the bar, but the same classic feel throughout.
2. The piano is key. Something of an anomaly in the current bar scene, Dock’s sports a piano bar, and an unusual one at that. It may take you a minute to figure out where the music is coming from here, as the pianist is sunken low behind the piano bar almost like a pit band at a Broadway show. Visibility issues aside, it ads heaping piles of charm to this already charming spot.
3. The drinks are anything but old fashioned … but yeah, you can get one of those, too. Dock’s may be known primarily as a seafood spot, but the bar here seems to have fully embraced the modern mixology trend. With a long list of specialty cocktails featuring everything from classics like the Sazerac to more modern creations utilizing everything from smokey mezcal to frothy egg whites, the barmen here really know their stuff. Not sure what to order? Tell them what flavors you like and let them make you your own specialty cocktail.
4. Happy hour is on point. Ok, so you are sipping your delicious, one-of-a-kind signature drink, and it’s doing a nice job of hitting the sweet spot, but you can’t help but want to nosh a bit — after all, this is one of the premier seafood spots on the East coast. Fear not, as happy hour runs daily from 4 to 6 p.m. here and features some incredible deals on appetizers. Fried oysters are just $1.25 each, while hearty fare such as the lobster mac and cheese can be had for just $7.50 and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
5. The raw bar is no joke. What was once a small part of the Dock’s experience has been expanded greatly with this year’s renovation, and now the raw bar is nothing short of massive. With everything from oysters and clams to chilled whole lobsters, one could easily spend an evening sampling till their heart’s content.
DOCK’S OYSTER HOUSE
WHERE: 2405 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City
WHEN: Open 4 to 11 p.m. daily
WHO: Owned by the Dougherty family
HOW MUCH: No Cover
OTHER INFO: All major credit cards accepted, disabled accessible, paino bar, on- site parking, valet parking