Taking over the old Shore House corner at Ola Vista and Del Mar, right in the heart of downtown San Clemente, the new Shore bears no resemblance to the previous occupant. Tammy Williams, owner of The Shore, has turned it into a hip, sophisticated sports bar and restaurant complete with an electric blue backlit bar and five flat screen TVs.
The dining area is lit by tea lights in vases of beach sand creating a cozy atmosphere. Cork and wood walls are adorned with mirrors that create a much roomier appearance. The cocktail lounge in the back has been transformed into a chic lounge and has made The Shore a hot spot. Wanting to bring something different to the street of Del Mar, Williams has successfully combined quality food and drinks with modern décor and ambiance making The Shore the perfect place for a night out.
Making its debut, The Shore opened in November of 2009 for dinner and drinks. They have since added lunch to their menu and are soon coming out with a weekend brunch menu. To make the restaurant even more versatile, they are currently revamping the outdoor area with new awnings and new tables, turning it into a nice “dog friendly” patio where patrons can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Del Mar for any meal of the day.
When you walk in the front door, the clean lines and solid colors present a finished, elegant style. The orchid and beach sand filled vases keep the vibe casual, while the exposed ceilings create a modern feel. Mirrors on the walls and behind the bar, as well as the open windows facing the streets, really create a sense of space.
The main bar is home to two large flat screen TVs, 10 beers on draft, including Guinness and Modelo, as well as an array of inventive signature drinks and top notch wines. Williams adds an imaginative touch by listing the beers in chalk on a gigantic board to the left of the bar, so even after throwing back a couple, making a selection hopefully won’t prove to be too difficult.
Though the bar, the drinks and the flat screens are reason enough to make a stop into The Shore, the quality menu is the real reason to visit. All of the food at The Shore is prepared fresh daily; the meat is top of the line and never frozen, the French fries are fresh cut each morning, and the desserts are made from scratch every day. Items such as the Grilled Filet skewers and the Little Big Macs (double sliders) are served in both the lounge and main dining area and can hold up as a meal. The Fried Chicken and Grilled Vegetable salads offer diversity for all salad lovers and can be ordered as an appetizer or entrée.
One of the entrees that has people talking around town already is the Shrimp and Grits - shrimp and sausage simmered with wine, mushrooms, and basil in a St. Laurent sauce - which is one of William’s grandmother’s personal recipes. For another one of grandma’s recipes, try the Banana Cream pie which is one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted and is served in a large enough portion for two people to happily share. The Shore is also featuring nightly specials such as the Panko crusted Halibut and Blackened Mahi Mahi, which may be added permanently to the menu. From 4 – 6pm, The Shore offers a prefixed menu that includes a salad with choice of Filet, NY steak, or Lamb Chops for just $18. Check the chalkboard outside the front door where new specials pop up frequently.
What really makes The Shore stand out is the quality of service that you experience while dining. From the management to the bussers, everyone is pleasant and articulate. General Manager, Omar Nabulsi, has lived in San Clemente since first grade and has worked in the service industry for 15 years making him not only knowledgeable, but personable. He tells me going to work is like “hanging out with friends” as he has known Williams for 25 years and runs into at least one customer that he knows every night. “If I didn’t work here, this is definitely a place I would come to.”
And what more can you ask for than people that are excited to come to work? Customers can enjoy a pleasant, fun atmosphere where everyone goes above and beyond to make sure you’re taken care of. With a good price point, a hip atmosphere, and great food and drinks, The Shore has made quite a splash on the San Clemente restaurant and bar scene. b
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