Library III Restaurant starts new chapter

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Laura Stetser/The Library III Restaurant is relocating to McCullough's Emerald Golf Links on or before April 1 Laura Stetser/The Library III Restaurant is relocating to McCullough's Emerald Golf Links on or before April 1

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – A local establishment that has wined, dined and entertained thousands of locals and visitors for 40 years is making a big move.

The Library III Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, at 6605 Black Horse Pike, is relocating its formal dining offerings to its other, more informal, restaurant space at McCullough’s Emerald Golf Links at 3016 Ocean Heights Avenue, called Library Pub and Grille – and the move will happen quickly.

“We should be open before April 1,” said owner Mike Castello of Egg Harbor Township.

 The owner of the Black Horse Pike two-story building notified Castello that his lease would not be to renewed, he said.

Rather than look at the news as a challenge, Castello said he took it as an opportunity.

“This is a fresh start for us,” he said. “Thank goodness we had the other space already.”

The well-known steak menu and salad bar will carry over at the Pub and Grille, which will be renamed Library III.

“The food, the staff, it’s all coming with us,” he said. “Everyone is really excited.”

A lunch pub-type menu will be offered, he said, including sandwiches and soups, to take advantage of the golf course traffic and lunch crowd.

The interior of the restaurant, which formerly was Mangia, will be remodeled to make the atmosphere similar to the feel of the Library III’s longtime location.

“We are adding a bar that will look out over the golf course and are extending the existing one,” said Castello, who been involved with the restaurant for 34 years.

The walls will be covered with wallpaper depicting books rather than real shelves covered with books.

“One of the restaurants in Revel used something like this and it looks amazing,” he said. “The wallpaper will be a lot cleaner too.”

Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough, after whom the township golf course is named, said the move is one that is good for everyone.

“They will be paying us more rent now, and it will offer a lot to the residents who didn’t want to go out to the Black Horse Pike,” he said, adding that the nonprofit corporation that runs the course for the township plans to expand the deck outside so it can accommodate golf outings without interrupting the restaurant service. The new location is handicap-accessible, McCullough said. “No one has to walk up steps anymore.”

Castello said he does not know what the owner of the Black Horse Pike location has in mind for the site, but Castello is planning to make the most of his remaining weeks at the landmark site.

“We are inviting some of the entertainers who have performed here throughout the years and old servers to come in for special evening events,” he said, noting the schedule will be available on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

As for the new spot at McCullough’s, Castello said he hopes it will allow the restaurant to reach a larger area of clientele.  

“We will be located near so many houses over there, more so than on the Black Horse Pike and also closer to Ocean City and Somers Point,” he said.

“It’s more open with a beautiful view of the golf course, and in the spring we can open the windows and let fresh air in,” he said.

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