Chef Chris Brandl is ready for the summer season.
With two Belmar restaurants as well as a thriving catering and mobile food business, the veteran of Jersey Shore fine dining has rolled out an entirely new approach to his operation.
"Reinventing is what we're doing," Brandl said. "We're getting current with our way of being."
"I just want to get current on who we are," he added.
Brandl's restaurant — appropriately named Brandl — has recently undergone a dramatic facelift.
Located at the intersection of 9th Avenue and Main Street in the borough's Pyanoe Plaza, Brandl has taken on what it's owner calls a "contemporary, industrial look," highlighter by new hardwood floors, orange walls and high ceilings.
The menu will see some major changes as well.
"We're innovative, American cuisine," Brandl said.
He describes his new approach as more steakhouse than before. He'll feature new cuts, steaks, chops and items like wild boar chops and lamb chops on the grill.
"It's kind of a SoHo vibe," he said. "I just wanted to get current and bring it into the new decade."
While adding new aspects to his service, Brandl will maintain some of the staples that helped him stay successful in his nine years of business at his Belmar location.
His three-course, Lazy Lobster Sundays and two for one entree Fresh Catch Fridays, two of his most popular promotions, will continue.
"We have all different kinds of fresh, local fish," he said, noting that he and his staff create new fish preparations weekly.
In addition to his fine dining establishment downtown, Brandl is ready to makes waves at the beach this summer with Jake's Crab Shack, his oceanfront beach fare establishment.
"We've got the best crab cakes on the Jersey Shore," he said, noting that this year he and his staff hope to achieve a more resort-like atmosphere in their location at Belmar's Taylor Pavilion.
In addition, Brandl will take show on the road, with on and off premise catering as well as appearances at a number of major festivals, fairs and other events across the state.
For those who are too far even for off-premise catering, Brandl now ships his crab cakes and crab balls anywhere in the country.
"I just shipped an order to Beverly Hills last week," he said. "People on the west coat can have a taste of the Jersey Shore in 24 hours."
To Brandl, innovation is the name of the game.
"We're not run of the mill," he said. "We just keep staying above the curve. That's the key."