UPDATE March 2022: Apparently now Marianne’s Cafe is closed after less than a month!
UPDATE March 2022: Longshore is now Marianne’s Cafe.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Opening a new restaurant at any time is a risky proposition. Opening a new restaurant during a pandemic seems completely bonkers. But that’s what Daniel Esola of Cherry Hill did.
Just before the pandemic, his dream started taking shape. He found the perfect spot. The right partners. The right concept. Then COVID-19 struck, and it almost derailed his plans. But he kept moving forward.
In July 2021, he quietly swung the doors open to Longshore Breakfast & Lunch at 746 West Route 70 in Marlton (next to Burns Hyundai) offering breakfast and lunch daily from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The restaurant’s name comes from Longshore Avenue in Philadelphia, where his father grew up.
“We chose a Philly-inspired menu because it is a city with some of the richest and most underrated history and food culture of anywhere in the U.S.,” Esola explained about how the pride of Philadelphians inspired his concept. “Furthermore, we plan to expand the brand deeper into the tri-state area of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.”
The restaurant was in “soft opening” mode for the first few weeks as he dealt with staffing issues and limited resources. Then, just as it was getting its footing, someone broke into the restaurant twice. The front door had been smashed and needed to be replaced each time. Undeterred by the bad luck, Esola kept pushing ahead.
“We chose to focus on breakfast and lunch because there are not too many restaurants like this in this area,” Esola remarked. “Many local restaurants don’t put the love and care into breakfast food that it deserves. I believe it is the most important meal of the day.”
Creative variations of breakfast staples such as omelets, pancakes, waffles, and eggs Benedict are served along with Philadelphia’s La Colombe coffee. Seldom-seen options such as blinis and crepes also feature on the menu, with its signature “Butterscotch Bacon,” a candied bacon dish that is ordered as a “starter” or side.
Esola attempts to keep the ingredients as local as possible using farmers and purveyors within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia.
“Our most utilized ingredient, eggs, are sourced from local farms in Vineland, Woodstown, Lancaster, and we are always looking to expand that network of local products,” Esola said. “In addition to La Colombe Coffee, we also feature Philadelphia’s Franklin Fountain ice cream used in our floats.”
A few hearty lunch sandwiches such as the epic French Toast Montecristo and imaginative salads like the Apple Crunch with granola, crisp diced apples, and feta cheese with a housemade Dijonnaise add excitement to the lunch menu. Order a cup or bowl of soup with a half portion of salad for a satisfying lunch.
The restaurant is also child-friendly, offering a separate kid’s menu for breakfast and lunch. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy.
“Business is growing steadily by word of mouth,” Esola voiced. “Every day, people tell me they had no idea we were even here.”
He hopes an official grand opening/ribbon cutting, planned in a few weeks, will help get out the word that Longshore Breakfast & Lunch is open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery.
Delivery is now available via Grubhub and Door Dash.
Check it out and tell them South Jersey Food Scene sent ya.