Popular Stafford Twp, NJ Take Out Place Decides to Close


The truth is, I never ate at Cluck’ n Crabs, a family-owned take-out eatery in the Mill Creek Plaza, just off of Rt. 72 in the Manahawkin neighborhood of Beach Haven West.

I did write about them once, though, in an article about places with good take-out food in South Jersey.

I remember thinking at the time that it seemed like they had a good thing going for themselves. This family had a business of their own and people seemed to love their food.

Cluck’ n Crabs opened in 2018 and had a reputation for making tasty chicken wings and excellent clam chowder.

Their smoky Manhattan clam chowder won the title of Grand Champion of the LBI Chowferfest in 2020.

Amy Costa had told the  Asbury Park Press at the time, “My husband John, who is the chef, says the secret ingredient is love”.

I remember reading that and thinking that I would really like to try John’s soup. I decided to follow them on Facebook. Cluck’ n Crabs always had a positive and aggressive marketing approach on social media that led you to believe they were doing good business and making a nice living.

One day, I thought, I’ll get over there and stop in and try that chowder.

On Tuesday, there was a different message from Amy and John on the Cluck’ n Crabs Facebook page.

It’s with great sadness that we announce Cluck’n Crabs will be closing its doors as of today 9/20. With rising food costs and an extremely tough economic marketplace we just can no longer continue to push through. We want to thank all of our wonderful customers and employees over the last 4 years and we will truly value all of the friends we have made along the way.

I guess I won’t be trying that clam chowder after all.

This rash of small businesses closing lately is unsettling and sad. Here’s a family that just couldn’t make it work anymore. After four years in business, they could no longer continue to push through.

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