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Feeding the Soul

The Whitechapel Projects offers more than just great food

Officially opened in 2018 as a restaurant, brewery and creative venue, Whitechapel Projects  continues to evolve and grow, giving back more than just great food to the Long Branch area. 

“It’s not just a restaurant, it’s not just a wedding venue. It is community,” says co-owner Marilyn Schlossbach, the executive chef and restaurateur behind this unique venture. “It is art, music, brewery, pizza. We have so many different things happening here, that it’s hard to say that we’re one thing.”

This 120-year-old warehouse building was brought back to life by Schlossbach’s partner, Preston Casertano, using an environmentally friendly construction process and repurposing as many materials as possible. He named it the Whitechapel Projects, inspired by his view of the Tate Modern Museum while working at a former job in the Whitechapel District of London.

“The physical space is so unique that it warrants having a different type of event here, Schlossbach says. “Whitechapel Projects is named that for a reason. ‘Projects’ lends itself to collaboration and multiuse—we’re not just one singular thing.”

Local brewery events, film premieres, movie-themed dinners, surf events, vegan cooking classes, art shows, wine walk-arounds, wellness expos, yoga classes, weddings, and private get-togethers are just a sampling of the wide array of events happening here. “We’re trying to connect these different groups of people to see all the wonderful ways to experience life,” Schlossbach adds.

Whitechapel’s latest addition is The Side Piece, an elevated concept in pizza that just opened on July 19.  “We’ve taken a traditional pizza concept and added our values and vision for local, sustainable, seasonal products,” Schlossbach says. “The smaller menu is more focused on where the ingredients are coming from and how they’re prepared.”

The sourcing of the product is well thought-out and always local when possible: Jersey fresh tomatoes for the sauce, Italian cheeses from a distributor in Sea Bright, and seasonally driven toppings such as Sungold cherry tomatoes grown in the back. “We’re all about bringing local into our community,” she says. “We live in the Garden State. The opportunities are endless in the place that we live and work.”

They’re also all about giving back to the community. “We do collaborative classes with the Boys and Girls Club through our nonprofit Food For Thought by the Sea, taking kids in the area and giving them opportunity,” Schlossbach adds. “Not just in hospitality but in surfing, in art, in making themselves feel important and thriving in where they live. We want to give people a leg up, make them feel good about themselves, make them feel like they can take on the world.”

Specialty pizzas, named after their travels and inspirations, include The Maimou (little monkey in Greek), which is a plain pie named after Schlossbach’s daughter. The Verde is a white pie made with locally grown greens, garlic and roasted garlic. There’s a seasonal Sungold tomato and burrata pie, along with the Ivan, a pastore pineapple pork pizza inspired by a taco stand in Mexico. 

And for dessert, they now offer soft-serve ice cream with—you guessed it—seasonal locally sourced toppings such as strawberry compote made from strawberries picked in South Jersey, and blueberries grown on the property.

Open from Wednesday through Sunday, the Side Piece offers takeout when Whitechapel is closed for private events, along with a more expanded, creatively driven menu when the restaurant is open. “We are open in different ways, at different times,“ Schlossbach explains. Check their Instagram stories (@whitechapelprojects) and Facebook for their most current weekly schedule, along with their website for the calendar of upcoming events. 

“We’re dog-friendly, kid-friendly, all-kinds-of-people-friendly,” Schlossbach adds. “We’ve always been driven by our community. We’re concerned about the future of the planet, as well as what we put in our bodies and what we put in minds. It all is connected. We’re trying to think outside the box and connect people to different experiences.”

"We want everybody to come. All walks of life, diverse people from different cultures, different places, different races. Whatever you’ve got, bring it here. We want to embrace it together and create more magic."