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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jan 30, 2018

Happy 20th Salt Creek Grille

Brendan Kirchner, formerly with Salt Creek Grille, Executive Chef Bob Belt, Fox's Good Day New York Rosanna Scotto, and Steve Bidgood.

Twenty years ago folks started saying ‘Google it’, and they also started a love affair with the Salt Creek Grille. Hard to believe but true; this distinctive waterfront restaurant has been welcoming friends for 20 years. Over that time there have been some changes – staff, chef, and even décor – but the one thing that has never changed is the restaurant’s affable owner Steve Bidgood. Bidgood, or ‘Biddy” as he is known to friends, sets the standards for this and his other restaurants (in Princeton and California) and he sets the mood which is friendly, casual sophistication. Bidgood is one of those guys you’re happy to know is successful. He is a visible, positive force in the community who has raised millions of dollars for charities over the years.

“We love being a part of the Shore community and have enjoyed making friends,” said Bidgood, who officially opened Salt Creek Grille April 15, 1998. ”Many of our guests have been coming here for 20 years, and now we are celebrating their children’s graduations.”

The Salt Creek Grille’s enviable location gives diners one the best views around, but it is much more than a good view. The Salt Creek’s kitchen, led by the award-winning Executive Chef Bob Belt, turns out delicious selections that inspire loyalty and reflect the customer’s tastes.

For example, last year Salt Creek launched one of its most ambitious menu changes, introducing new classics while retaining some old favorites. These changes included new small-plate dishes and additional items on the popular Happy Hour menu.

The Salt Creek’s private dining room has also received a major makeover and now hosts an annual average of 400 events such as showers, fundraisers, and weddings. And, after 20 years, there are also many anniversaries, vow renewals, and showers for the second generation of original diners.

The Salt Creek Grille also has a popular bar with a well-respected wine list and artisan cocktails. In addition, they frequently host wine tasting dinners. Salt Creek’s annual Wine & Martini Tasting Benefit has raised $1 million for local charities, all of which goes directly to the charities. This year’s event, scheduled for Thursday, April 12, will benefit Covenant House’s Asbury Park location.

Along the way, there have been many celebrity guests, like the Stanley Cup. Hockey’s grandest prize was delivered for a one-day visit by the National Hockey League’s (and Middletown’s own) Trevor van Reimsdyk, and his father Frans. The duo arrived aboard the family’s boat with the Stanley Cup held high. The horns blared and 150 family and friends assembled to celebrate in Salt Creek Grille’s private dining room.

The Salt Creek has also earned numerous awards and recognitions, like receiving the New Jersey Restaurateur of the Year Award. The award was the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association’s highest award for New Jersey restaurateurs demonstrating leadership within the industry.

Word on the street is the next 20 years promise to be just as exciting.

Salt Creek Grille is located at 4 Bingham Avenue in Rumson. They’re open daily; cocktails at 4:00 p.m. and dinner at 5:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday lunch is served from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with dinner starting at 5:00 p.m. There are midweek specials too. Call (732) 933-9272 or visit www.saltcreekgrille.com.