The Gables Perfect for a Historic Jersey Shore Beach Getaway

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Long Beach Island is exactly as the name implies…an 18 mile long narrow barrier island off New Jersey’s central coast complete with sugar soft beach the entire length, body surfing, and plenty of frozen custard and grill joints to fortify you along the way. Upon crossing the causeway on the Manahawkin Bay Bridge, your options are simple. Turn left (north) and hit quieter more residential beach communities crowned by Barnegat Light at the tip or turn right (south) onto Long Beach Blvd where the crowds flock during summer.

But just because south of the bridge is outfitted for tourism doesn’t mean these beach communities are an endless strip of motels, chain restaurants, and souvenir shops. Locally run eateries like Uncle Will’s Pancake House near side streets like Centre St. in Beach Haven are quaint, walk able, and often historic. It is here at # 212 that large twisty trees shroud the extensive porch and grand entrance to The Gables, a fully renovated B&B and restaurant.

Continuously settled since 1690 in such a fragile ecosystem right on the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no wonder that 2012′s Hurricane Sandy was only the latest in a steady stream of storms to pound Long Beach Island. But damage is typically sporadic across the island with streets protected by dunes, like those in Beach Haven, remaining comparatively untouched while otherthegablesporchneighborhoods aren’t so lucky.

Staying at The Gables

The Gables owners Sondra and Steven Beninati are certainly familiar with rebuilding but not so much in response to storm damage as to restoring their circa 1892 bed & breakfast’s structural integrity after years of neglect. When they purchased it back in 2005 for $1.3 million, the entire back of the house was sagging, 5 layers of shingles covered the leaking roof, and the original limestone foundation was crumbling.

Sondra and Steven immediately called some contractors over to assess the damage and provide some repair estimates. All of them recommended tearing it down despite the fact that it’s in a historic district. But Sondra and Steven persevered eventually spending $750,000 beyond their initial purchase price to make all the necessary repairs. The glorious front porch was completely replaced and enlarged essentially creating an outdoor living room.

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It’s hard to imagine that before rehab, The Gables had more than the 5 guests rooms it has now. All of them retain their historic charm with original gas fireplaces, crown moldings, and original plank floors yet the experience is enhanced with modern comforts like private bathrooms, spa tubs, and flat panel TVs above the mantels. The front desk is constructed from an ornate fireplace frame and marble mantel while against the wall to your left in the foyer, a 1933 Steinway Baby Grand Piano awaits for an impromptu serenade or the occasional maestro for special occasions.

The Gables experienced many lives over the years ranging from an all-girls school, postal drop, and produce market before becoming the island’s first B&B in the 1970s. This is also when a professional kitchen was added that to this day overlooks the outdoor courtyard dining area.

Eating at the Gables

Open nightly for dinner during the summer season, and every weekend during the fall and spring, Executive Chef Richard Diemer crafts fresh and local New American dishes, prime steaks, and home made pastas like their super light and airy ricotta gnocchi.

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Inside dining features white table cloth candle-lit tables, an extensive wood burning fireplace, crystal chandelier and wide plank flooring. When dining outside, you have your choice of the front veranda or heading through to the back of the inn under columned pergolas covered with grape vines to the Victorian garden courtyard framed featuring a fountain, and extensive flower gardens.

Regardless of whether you choose the Prix Fixe Tasting Menu, or dine a la carte, you’ll get daily specials often based on produce from local New Jersey farms, micro greens from Blue Moon Acres in nearby Buckingham, Pennsylvania, Niman Ranch organic meats, D’Artagnan organic poultry, and fresh diver scallops from just offshore. The restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license but offers a fine selection of wines from nearby Bellview Winery making it the perfect opportunity for a local pairing experience.

Photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky.  Coverage made possible by participating in a partially sponsored trip.

The Gables Story – As told in the APP

Asbury Park Press article by Susan Bloom. Published September 17th, 2014.

See why couple fell in love with LBI’s Gables Inn

A decade ago, as Sondra Beninati contemplated a career change after 25 years as a massage therapist, she noticed that the Beach Haven bed & breakfast then called The Green Gables was up for sale, and she found herself intrigued.

She and her husband, Stephen, New York City residents who also owned a home in the Loveladies section of Long Beach Township, long had admired the 1892-era Victorian structure for its history and elegance. Continue reading

Springing Back and Looking Forward

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As a wonderful summer is waning and a gorgeous fall winding up, I can’t help looking back with appreciation and forward with anticipation.

Unlike some other Jersey Shore towns still struggling with Superstorm Sandy recovery, a lot of LBI was lucky enough to rebound and redeem its rightful and historic place as a magnetic destination, luring back tourists and summer residents alike. Continue reading

The Gables Awarded Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

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For immediate release:                                                                       For more information,

May 29, 2014                                                                                      Call 609-492-3553

    THE GABLES AWARDED 2014 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

 Recognized as a Top Performing Inn & Restaurant as Reviewed by Travelerson the World’s Largest Travel Site

BEACH HAVEN, NJ – MAY 29, 2014 The Gables Historic Inn and Restaurant announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. Continue reading

May Peace & Joy Surround You

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I’m so grateful to be able to celebrate the New Year at The Gables.  Because of the life changing events of 2012, fire and flood, I will never take The Gables, the staff, and our clientele for granted.
This has been a good year for us.  Mother Nature has been kind to the shore. Folks on our island and our mainland neighbors who suffered through hurricane Sandy, are rebuilding and making life on the island “normal”. It makes surviving the storm all that much sweeter.

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