Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill – Island Park

UPDATED REVIEW HERE.

 

Friday night I went to a new place called Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill (15 Railroad Place, Island Park). The only reason why I knew this place existed was because of a Newsday article regardng outdoor eating.  As it turns out, Pop’s grand opening was just the night before!

 

Situated just over the Michael Valente / Long Beach Bridge, Pop’s appears to be the first sign of a waterfront redevelopment. Other lots nearby look prime for similar use, but I was there to eat and had no time to explore real estate, so on to the restaurant.

We get to Pop’s a little after 6pm thinking it would be early enough to beat the crowd. Boy, were we wrong. This place was packed!  They don’t take reservations, and we were told the wait would be around 25 minutes. No Problem. We’ll use that time exploring the restaurant. Believe me, there is a lot to check out.

 

First of all, I want to say the decor was sort of amazing. I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing a new building in Island Park that didn’t have a fucco (fake stucco) facade!  The material was mostly wood and had a very natural, organic feel to it.  As far as the place itself, the dining seems to be all outside. The porch (in the photo) is the main eating area. There were a few other potential dining areas near the water where other patrons were just lounging around. There was also a bandstand, a pier and boat slips for boat access. I thought it was odd how the porch was jam packed, but these other areas weren’t so much. I also noticed that this restaurant wasn’t finished. There were construction workers still working on some structures, including the docks. This was at 6pm on a friday night!  

Walking around was really nice. My wife and I went out on the pier and saw a family of swans with their giant nest. You also get a nice view of the LIRR crossing the bridge. I looked across the channel at Long Beach at our bay front disaster area and wondered if we will ever get something similar over there….

Twenty-five minutes passed, so we figured we’d ask how much longer it would be until we’d be seated. They told us about another hour. We were both starving and didn’t feel like waiting, so we told them we were going to leave. They apologized and blah blah blah. I get it. The place just opened, there is a buzz and they are overwhelmed. I’m not going to complain that the wait went from 25 minutes to an hour and 25 minutes. It was so crowded right when we got there; I had a feeling the evening was going to turn out this way.  The manager told me that they only have one dining area opened, but they plan on having three more soon. So that will help.

On our way out, while unlocking our bikes, this lady told us how she’d been waiting for over an hour. She then said how the restaurant workers were giving all the tables to their friends and families- that’s why the wait was getting longer and longer. Now, I’m not sure if that’s true, but if it is then that’s a bad way to start a business.

Of course I’ll be back. I need to try this place out. The atmosphere & decor was pretty cool and somewhat unique. The food looked pretty good and people looked happy eating it.  I do think this place will go down one of two paths. 1) a bar scene or 2) a restaurant for everybody. I hope it goes with the latter… I did have a hard time figuring out what kind of place it will be because there were families with kids at tables, but then a lot of younger guys walking around drinking beers and acting kinda drunk.  I guess it all depends on how good the food is. If the food is mediocre, then they will rely on drinks to pay the bills.  I’ll eventually get to eat there and give you a review. In the meantime, check it out yourself and let me know what you think.

Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill
15 Railroad Place
Island Park, NY 11558
www.popsseafoodshack.com

 

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51 thoughts on “Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill – Island Park”

  1. i CAN’T WAIT TO GO THERE, WE NEED A FEW NEW, AND GOOD RESTAURANTS AROUND HERE. I KNOW WE HAVE LOTS OF THEM… BUT WE NEED SOME BETTER ONES.

  2. it’s in a really strange location, but it could be a winner. yes we do we need some better restaurants in our town. we have lots of expensive places , but we could do better.

  3. It is a strange location, but if developed right it won’t be so strange. If we ever develop our bay area in long beach then that little area can be our mini- Fort Lauderdale. It’s strange today, but prime tomorrow.

  4. Just for the record we are very good friends of the owner and the manager. We waited over an hour but that is not unusual at 5:30 prime time dinner time. The food was great and the waitress was very helpful. It is such a great place to kick back, relax and forget all your worries.

  5. Went there on Monday around 7pm with a party of 6 and was told there was a 2 hr wait. Decided to at least have a drink and check out the place. Very cool setup. Grabbed a table ouside in the back beach. After about a half hour we overheard a waitress telling another group the kitchen was closing and they were running out of food. Hopefully they get there stuff together for the grand opening this weekend.

  6. Seems as if they don’t have their act together as yet. I’m very anxious to see a NEW restaurant opening up in our area, but I won’t go until there get it together.
    Maybe after the summer.
    We need some new and exciting places in Long Beach, Island Park, etc.
    Some places that don’t charge a mortgage payment for a dinner. also some fine dining places without the crazy prices and the attitudesa.

    I hope this one works out.

  7. I hope it works out as well. I went their last saturday and thought the place looked wonderful, but I had the same exact experience as the writer of this article.

  8. The place is beautiful, however the food is terrible. My wife and I were both disappointed with our meals. Good place for drinks but don’t go there to eat especially if you value your dollar. We were upset due to high expectations.

  9. We went to Pops on Tuesday around 7pm with a party of 4. It didn’t seem that packed…not many cars in the lot. When we got to the hostess we saw that there were plenty of open tables including the huge tables that look like they fit about 10 people. We were still told there would be a 2 hour wait. The couple that came in behind us knew the owner or manager and he went right over to them. You could tell he was waiting for us to leave so he could seat them right away. When we asked if we could take the bigger table we were told that those were only for bigger parties. We did not stay…and we will not be going back. We were told the same thing happened to a lot of people but wanted to check it out for ourselves…and they were right.
    They should take reservations…that way they could at least lie about the tables being reserved and they could get away with only seating their friends.

  10. I have a boat slip in the marina next door and have been waiting for this place to open. We went on Saturday at about 4:30 and waited 15 minutes for a table for 4. Had the fish tacos – very good. They put a lot of money and thought into this place, but I don’t think they anticipated that it would take off like it did. It was supposed to open for Memorial Day weekend, but there was too much to do to get the place finished. The place is very cool, trendy and it will take off. I hope it starts a rebuilding of the waterfront. They have a intro menu to see what works and I figure things will level out once they have been around a few weeks. It pays just to go and sit out by the water on a nice day in the chairs and have a few cocktails while you wait for a table. Isn’t that what it’s all about? This place fits if that’s your mentality.

  11. Why would you have friends and family night? Maybe they should do that when they are established with the community. All the lies they have been telling people are going to catch up before they take off.

  12. I received this comment via email.
    -Admin

    From: pyneman

    Message: Came early, our waiter Raj was quite impressed with himself. We
    ordered 2 margaritas & asked what kind of wine the Cabernet was. After a
    10 min. wait the margaritas came then my husband had to catch Raj attention
    to have him bring daughter’s wine. Had to ask twice for water for the
    table. Daughter and I ordered 2 crab cake sandwiches both with no bacon
    and fries. One came with bacon the other came with tater tots. Needs to
    pay attention a tad more to customers. Would not want him waiting on my
    new customers!

  13. D, I totally agree with you. We went after we saw it advertised in Newsday. Almost every new restaurant has a friends & family night, but once it’s advertised, all bets are off.
    Besides, we saw no signs that said “friends & family only tonight” which is something you usually see when a place opens.

  14. My husband and daughter went there on Friday, 7/8, for lunch and were less than impressed. My husband got some sweet potato lobster salad that looked like slop on the plate. The waitress was so embarrassed, she bought them a round. They split the fried oysters and said they were fine but not fantastic. Only time will tell.

  15. Okay so I live across the street from someone who works there, my good friend is friends with someone who runs the Marina and I have several other friends that know “people” having to do with Pops. Well the place seemed nice and I hear it’s fun but I’m actually really annoyed with the mangagement “Justin” in particular. I’m trying to organize a 40th birthday party and wanted to bring 25 (or more) people over there for dinner, drinks. I wanted to rent out maybe two or three of their cabanas. I left three messages last week with details. No call backs. I went there on Saturday, a woman who appeared to be some kind of manager assured me that someone would get back to me… it’s Wed, the party date is Jul 30th. I called yesterday three more times, and my husband stopped in. All they do is take my number, date of event and promise to call back. Well if you ask me that’s bad business, poor service, and once the thrill of it being a new place wears off – they are going to lose plenty of business. So instead I checked out the newly re-done Malibu’s called Mali-blue and I got the best customer service, the vibe there is awesome, the food was great, and the drinks and food (oyster bar too) was really great. I was met with knowledgable, attentive service, my questions were answered, and they actually welcomed someone willing to spend over $1500 on food and drink. Yeah Pops seems cool, the sand is kinda like dirt, the shops aren’t really stores you’d shop in, the service sucks, there’s always a wait, and you are dining in a glorified parking lot. It’s kind of industrial, but if you have a boat, it’s good because they bring you food and waiter service to your boat. I’d rather spend an evening at Maliblue with live calypso in a gorgeous high-end decor beach environment with plenty of parking and real sand – oh and you can walk onto the real beach (far away from the parking lot).

  16. This place is the worst! First of all the bartender cursed at myself and my party for no apparent reason. Next the hostess told us the wait time was an hour and we waited for over 2 hours and never got a table. THIS HAPPENED TO TWO OTHER PARTIES WHILE WE WERE THERE TOO AND THE HOSTESS WAS RUDE TO ALL OF US. But the best part of it all is I ate at the bar and I GOT FOOD POISONING! I was in the hospital the next day because of POPS. DO NOT EAT HERE. THEY ARE RUDE, THEY LIE, AND THE FOOD WILL MAKE YOU SICK. BEWARE!

  17. I agree. I went there last night for dinner and found that they only had sandwiches and some appetizers. $5 for a glass of beer (plastic cup, actually) and $3 for a plastic cup of ice tea (no ice, of course) and $18 fro a lobster roll that was tasteless. What a disaster. Who needs mounds of what they call Belgian fries and is nothing like a Belgian fry and a purported lobster roll on a toasted buttered potato roll? Jeez, give me a break.

  18. We went last night, not a pleasant experience.

    Arrived at 6:30, and were told the wait was 30-35 minutes, so we decided to have a drink. The bartender was borderline rude. I asked what kind of light beer they had in bottles, she responded “Everything.” So I asked for a Corona Light, she responded, “That’s in a can.” I said I would check with my dinner partner since he doesn’t like beer from cans, so she responded, with attitude, “You can’t bring bottles outside anyway.” Ummm…ok, but he still doesn’t like beer from cans.

    At 7:30, we still weren’t called for a table. My partner went up to ask how much longer, was told “15-20 minutes or so.” At that point, we decided to get back on the boat and go to Peter’s Clam Bar. We had a glass of wine and an appetizer, and our entrees were in front of us by the time we got the call for our table at 8:35 (they take a cell #, no buzzers).

    I can understand a certain amount of disorganization in a new establishment (people didn’t even know how to work the cash registers) but there is no excuse for rude staff, and they need to learn how to either turn tables over more quickly, or be more realistic about wait times.

  19. Two attempts to like this place.

    Attempt one, I went on a thursday with my girlfriend, not only was I told to take my hat off, the asshole bouncer (on a thursday when its empty?) told me to go back to the car and leave my hat in there. Ok, so I am cursing his ugly face out in my head for being so rude. I wanted to leave but the girl was hungry. We went and sat down and waited for 30 minutes before out appetizer was ready! Sorry, but it was half dead, your service sucks shit. We got up and left and went to pete’s clam bar. I swear I am not promoting pete’s, its not the best either, but was such a relief. I was eating withing ten minutes.

    Attempt two, got sucked back into this sand in a parking lot hyped up dump that will be for sale in less then two years when friends were going there. I had no choice but to follow the group. OK, here it goes, this was a saturday night. There was a small line, I so wanted to leave. The line looked like a mix of old Montego bay fags mixed witg modern jersey shore whores, except fatter. Not a good looking crowd. We finally got to the doorman muscle freak, and he had the nerve to hit on the hot girls we were with. Hey assface, those are our girlfriends and want nothing to do with you! That was so rude. Anyway, We get to the bar, 45 bucks and one round for 4 people later, we wondered around the dirty sand parking lot. We were told, no hats, no smoking here, no this , no that. Fucking bullshit, they think they are a Caribbean chill place, but they are actually a guido shithole. Lots of underage there, and absolute confused shithole. Will NOT be going back. My friends and I all agreed the place was an absolute waste, and above all, outright rude staff and attitude. I am in the Fourth Precinct. Can’t wait till I’m on water bar duty, I’m going to rip them a new asshole.

  20. Bouncers? oh no… so it’s going to be THAT kind of place. I haven’t been back since I wrote this post, but I was hoping it would be more of a family restaurant, but it sounds like it’s becoming more like a club. If that’s the case, then I’ll never go there again.

    What was the music like? The night I went it was mostly Beatles & Beach Boys (which I like). Has that changed?

  21. Who cares what the music was like? If the place is like the above people say it is and the fact that they even have Bouncers, then it is not for me

  22. I care, because I don’t want annoying techno bass blasting in my ears while I am trying to talk to the people that I’m with. Plus it lets me know how “clubby” the place is.

  23. The owner of POPs did a Great job on setting up of this place sparing no expense,a very cool spot.They need to hire a experienced crew to match the ambiance. Get out and recruit the best of the best before it is to late.Hire a staff like the Beach House ,Serve drinks to die for and serve food that makes you want to touch yourself .Its a fun place to entertain family and friends .Now combine that together with awesome friendly service and that makes a great place! No one wants to go to a place with a confused inexperienced staff and with service like that they better be nice.

    It seams as tough you know how to charge so Give the customers what they need ,a good time.We do not need a “All show no Go” Spot. Meet me at Mali-blue for a good time ,While POPS figures out how to make this place work.I like this place and I want it to see it succeed. You make it happen POPS and we will all be back to give you a opportunity to earn our business. All my best wishes to you Pops, hopefully this pat on the ass works for ya. FYI the summer is half over ..Tic Toc! LETS GO !

  24. Went there today at lunchtime to check it out. The reviews were really panning this place.

    You cannot believe what a shit hole this place is. You really must go to take a look since no one would believe you if you tried to describe it.

    I can’t believe anyone would be that desparate to eat there.

    I guess if you want to get drunk and nasty, this is your place. The cops are going to have a field day pulling over patrons as they leave.

  25. or you can just go to the city where the more young sophisticated crowd is while all the guido douch bags stay at places like Pops. Some people around here dont get it. We dont want Jersey SHore. That’s way the Admin was questioning the music. The club music is not really hip…..

  26. Went Saturday night- fun crowd- rotten staff!!!! I ordered the same set of drinks 3 different times during the night and were charged 3 different prices! it’s run really unproffesional- the bouncers are going around telling everybody “no baseball caps” however, i guess they were to big for anyone to have the guts to tell them to take thiers off. The music was good but the speakers are really poorly located (one right by the bar so you cant give your order to the bartender and one area has no speakers (by the fire pits). never saw such long lines for mens bathrooms. and dont plan on taking a crap in the toilet since there are no wals around the toilet and you would be sharring your dump with the guy at the urinal! All in all they need to work out ALOT of stuff!!!!

  27. OY! Sounds like your in Columbia.
    And what’s with the “No Baseball caps” Is this dump so elegant that they have a dress code? Paper cups?, Bouncers? I don’t think so.

  28. I feel like calling this place a shit hole is just being rude and over the top. There are definitely kinks, but the place is beautiful and clean. The waitstaff is flustered when it’s busy, and they definitely need to find staff that is experienced with volume like what they’ve been having. The food is good, the drinks are good … the music is good. It’s just the beginning. I’ve been here twice already, have experienced some issues, but wouldn’t put it down like these reviews. And for all those people who don’t like that there are bouncers? Well, you’re serving alcohol … people can get out of hand, and to be honest I feel more comfortable knowing that there are people on site who could handle a rowdy customer if they needed to. Hope this place does will this summer and is back for business next year!

  29. Hey man, they serve alcohol in 95 percent of the restaurants in Long Beach and Island park, how many of those have bouncers? ! percent? 2 percent? Maybe.
    So don’t be stupid.

  30. OK THE DECOR IS VERY FUN FOR NASSAU COUNTY. THE MUSIC IS LOUD BOARDING ANNOYING. THE STAFF IS QUICK, NOT VERY FRIENDLY.I ORDERED A TURKEY BURGER WITH MANGO SALSA AND FRIES.i WAITED FOR ABOUT 40 MINUTES AFTER I ORDERED. tHE FRENCH FRIES WHERE COLD AND DRIPPING WITH OIL.THE BURGER WAS HOT A A GOOD SIZE AND THERE WHERE ONLY THREE SMALL DICED PIECES OF MANGO ON THE TOP OF THE TURKEY BURGER.tHE TABLE NEXT TO ME ALSO SENT BACK THE FRIES AND THE LETTUCE WEDGE WAS ON THIRD OF A HALF A HEAD. tHE LADT ASKED FOR ANOTHER SERVING. THE WATRESS GOT ANOTHER WEDGE FOR HER. THE TABLES ARE SO CLOSE TOGETHER THAT PEOPLE WHERE BUMPING INTO THEM THUS SHAKINF THE FOOD AND TWO DRINKS INFRONT OF ME SPILLED. nOT TO MENTION THAT IT HURTS TO RUN INTO ONE OF THOSE POINTED CORNERS ON THE TABLES. ALL IN ALL I THINK I WILL WAIT FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS TO GO BACK ONE MORE TIME. ONE LAST NOTE THE HOSTESS ASKED ME HOW EVERTHING WAS, I MENTIONED THE FRENCH FRIES AND SHE SAID WELL I HOPE YOU SENT IT BACK. tHE CHEFS ARE NEW. THE CHEFS ARE NEW… WHAT ON THE PLANET OR NEW AS IN THEY WHERE BUS BOYS AND NOW ARE CHEFS. NIO CHEF I KNOW WOULD EVER SERVE A FRENCH FRY LIKE THAT , NOT EVEN A FAST FOOD “CHEF”

  31. ahhh vicky…happened to be on the ramp and overheard your conversation with the hostess about your fries. i happened to have the fries and thought they were awesome…AND i never heard the woman tell you the chefs were “new”…i believe she mentioned that they were “great” chefs and she was happy you ordered something else to your liking. wow!!! i cannot believe how people can twist things around!!! shame on you.

  32. I moved to Island Park as a kid in 1952 and had the best childhood you could have down there along those canals and the channel. Old Camp Costigan was a great place. Our house was right on the water. It has changed so much but still the best kept secrect on the south shore

  33. I beleive Maria works for Pop’s and is trying to cover for them!!! if enough people commetn as to how awful and poorly run the place is, instead of trying to call people out- just fix it or go away!!!!

  34. I’ve been to Pop’s three times, unfortunately, it wasn’t on a Sunday when I was told there was a live band. I love the feeling I get while dining at Pop’s. It brings me back to the fun days in Florida. Last Friday night I went to Pop’s, every seat in the house was filled otherwise I would have stayed longer. Maybe some more chairs in the sand would be great , and I would love to see and hear a live band on Friday nights and even Saturday at dinner time. Your beer batter cod is the best. I plan to enjoy Pop’s at least once a week as long as I can enjoy Sun and Sand. I visited another establishment Sunday night and the band Hat Trick was playing. Great sound. If interested call Barry Hirsch hattrickmusic@verizon.net.

  35. I love how all the negative reviews have stopped , Why ? Because POPS is putting it together and is going to make it happen .They now have a doc step up for the boaters . A BBQ going all day for a quick bite without having to wait in addition to there menu . Experienced bar tenders and the staff also is getting things together . Cant wait to see this place be One of our best Down at the Beach . lets see this place improve by the day .I am Impressed. Great Job POPS , keep up the good work !

  36. Finally, I found a restaurant where I could feel so comfortable, kicking off my shoes, and feeling the sand beneath my feet. Felt like Florida all over again. The beer battered cod is fantastic, I order the same thing every time. Staff is quick and courteous. I definitely recommend Pop’s.

  37. Was there for lunch, ordered fish tacos made with corn tortillas. When brought by the waitress it was made with flour tortillas. Only reason I ordered this was due to wheat allergy. No comment from the staff- only ” Sorry we are out of corn tortillas so you got flour..”. OK, so are substitutions allowed without any comments regarding safety???

  38. Place is absolute guido trash. The bartenders are absolutey popping pills and doing cocaine. They dont pay attention to their customers. The person Maria is full of it. She probably works there or is a promoter. This place is horrendous in all aspects except for its visual appeal. The food is disgusting and the bouncers remind me of the crips and bloods…sloppily dressed and extremely annoying to deal with. You may as well go to Paddy Mcgees….same young guido white trash crowd. As for their boat dock…please. It should be first come first served. Who charges for docking a boat when im paying a 150 dollar tab for dinner. Its Island Park …no Palm Beach

  39. I’ll go to the city where the more young sophisticated crowd is.

    If I want to go to a place to hear music, then I’ll go to a concert not a Beach Bum joint.

  40. I took my wife there for her birthday and wait 1/45 min when i ask about my table the girl say it a 3hour wait i say i been here . i wait 1/45 min she sorry .that BS

  41. do not eat HERE … I GOT BAD FOOD POISONING FROM THIS PLACE!!! the FOOD is BAD!! DO NOT EAT HERE.. its only for drinks and atmosphere
    this is the second time it happened to me i took the chance and went back and it happened again!! my own fault but its DEF THE FOOD!!!! DO NOT EAT HERE!!!! DO NOT!

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