Oaklyn Manor Bar: The Rebirth
198 W. Clinton Ave, Oaklyn, NJ 08107
Hours: 10 AM – 1 AM, Mon – Sat; 10 AM – Midnight, Sun
After a long seven months, the Oaklyn Manor Bar has finally taken care of their licensing issues and is once again open for business. On our first trip to the “old” Manor, we fell in love with the wings an the character of the place. But with new owners boasting a slew of upgrades, we figured that it was only appropriate to give it another dive.
The first piece of good news was that the new Manor has retained its old bones. Some of the dive decor has been phased out, but the building has retained its character. The overhead chalkboard is an awesome addition – you gotta love the slogan in the photo above, and it seems like they have a resident chalk artist updating the thing.
We grabbed a booth and checked out the beer list, which now features the full lineup of Tonewood Beers brewed right down the block! Of course you can always go with a classic Yuengling, but the prices have gone up a tick compared to the other local dives. At $4 a Yueng, I’d spend the extra dollar to get the local brew. We got the Tonewood saison and pale ale, and anxiously awaited the new incarnation of the Manor wings. I was nervous since the Manor has a new chef and an all new menu, but pleased to see the “Manor Style” wings still on the menu. And the Manor Style wings definitely lived up to their reputation.
Bigger than the old wings the new Manor wings are brined, baked, and fried. The chicken is cooked so perfectly that you can crunch down on the bones just to get an extra bite. And the house sauce blend remains irresistible. We meant to order 6 wings to along with our pizza and fries, but forgot to specify. It all worked out though – we housed them.
The pizza and fries weren’t half bad either. Garlic parm fries were a great accompaniment to the wings, and another thing to dip in the sauce. The “tomato pie” was nothing like your typical South Jersey / Philly tomato pie, but it was definitely tasty. The soft crust was lightly coated in a creamy tomato sauce with a healthy serving of fresh basil on top. Worth a try if you are in the mood for something bready, but when in doubt you can’t really go wrong with the wings.
All in all, they classed the joint up a bit. Prices are higher but they have stepped up their food game and their new social media presence definitely makes it easy to get a craving for the Manor. It’s not as divey as it once was, but we will certainly be checking back in with hopes that it settles just a little deeper.
So far, so good at the the revitalized Manor. The place is still a neighborhood cornerstone and the wings are top-notch. It’s not as deep as a dive as it once was, but the Manor still has it’s classic South Jersey character.
Lunch Specials: Mon-Fri, 11 AM – 3 PM – $5 for your choice: roast beef, chicken club, soup and salad, chili and cornbread, BLT, BBQ pork
NFL Specials: $8.99 “Eagles Wings” (full double wing, Manor style), $2.50 select domestic specials ($2.50 pints and $8.50 pitchers)