The Shipyard beer garden and event space is coming to Pennsville NJ on the Delaware River at the former site of the Riverview Inn. Positioned for amazing views!
If you previously visited the Riverview Inn when it was open, remember that large open air capable bar building at the end which extended to a beautiful front lawn to the river, with Adirondack chairs and tables?
That seems to be what the new Shipyard will be all about!
The news was shared first at their Facebook page, where they converted the former Riverview Deck/Inn page into The Shipyard page.
This is exciting on several levels as for decades the Riverview Inn was a very popular and large facility for dining, “adult beveraging” and weddings… but it’s been a rough few years for the Riverview after closing, a fire, and then an auction of the restaurant contents!
So I think in the minds of many, seeing a new establishment getting ready to open up so soon after all the recent news and demolition truly will be happy news!
We’ve reached out to the Shipyard Facebook page admins for additional details but have not received a reply yet. I’m sure we’ll be chatting soon. So I am sharing what I know!
A new website is also in the works for The Shipyard.
The Shipyard is part of the J.G. Cooks family of eateries, which also includes the popular Telford Inn and Carolina Blue restaurants in Mantua NJ.
While we don’t know an opening date, we found a potential clue. Keep reading and scrolling.
The Shipyard Rises from the Riverview Inn
The Shipyard is located at 60 Main Street in Pennsville right on the Delaware River.
The location is next to the Riverview Beach Park which into the 60s was a popular amusement park. Today the rides and roller coaster are long gone, and it is an open park for recreation and town events.
The Shipyard is a smaller building on a large property adjacent to the park, with a large amount of frontage on the river.
The building is rectangular shaped with the long side facing the river.
They front of the building is large glass garage doors which in nice weather can be opened, exposing the entire building to the outside. It gives a lot of flexibility to function as both an outdoor and indoor space.
So if you’ve visited the Riverview Inn before you’re starting to think…”Wait a minute, wasn’t a portion of the Riverview Inn set up like that?”
100% it was.
So I briefly mentioned there was a fire at the Riverview Inn and subsequently most of the building was demolished. MOST.
The former restaurant was three segments making a long complex running along the river.
From what I remember from my visits; the very old dark wood restaurant was first. Then a newer but still older segment was second, and then the third section was a somewhat newer “large bar with garage door sections”
So absolutely those first two older sections of the former restaurant are gone today… but that third open air bar building… well it survived. Or enough of it survived, that they are able to use that portion today as the “bones” of the Shipyard.
To be honest I did not see the property after the demo work was completed so maybe what stands today is all new construction.. but it does seems to be an exact match to what was there as the Riverview Deck open air bar building.
The Shipyard – What We Know It Will Offer
So knowing about those roots of the new bar and event space helps explain what (and why) the owners have planned for The Shipyard.
The bullets they offer describe the new venue as;
- Live Music
- Beer Garden
- Fire Pits
- Lawn Games
- Food Trucks
From my own visits to the Riverview Inn Deck portion I remember it was home to a very large bar with additional tables in the front of the building, and also on the front lawn.
While I am not sure if they are keeping the large bar for The Shipyard, it seems it will not have a kitchen within the building.
Hence the “Food Trucks” aspect of the plans. The Shipyard will have the full liquor license, and can offer food with a variety of food trucks! Maybe with that flexibility the dining experience will change regularly!
And the rest of those cool features they call out; “beer garden, fire pit, lawn games”? Well it seems to fit what was taking place previously as the Riverview Inn Deck!
I visited the Riverview twice when it was open (both times in the summer), and while I walked through the older parts of the building my visits were focused on the that open air bar.
The bar and seating were very popular… but the experiences carried on to the front grass and river.
Along the river was beautiful grass and positioned throughout were tables and Adirondack chairs.
You could relax along the river with the bar 20 feet behind you, and an acoustic musician performing for everyone.
It was an amazing setup that everyone seemed to love. For me it was the best part of the property.
And that is The Shipyard.
In my recent visit the front river area was all dirt but I imagine that was just prepped for all new grass sod to be placed ahead of the opening.
Still a lot more details to learn. We don’t know what the inside of the building looks like. Will they still have that large bar, or go smaller so the space is more flexible for events?
What will the lawn area and firepits be designed?
Achy Breaky 5k!
And when will they open?
The 5k includes a post race Country Western themed party at The Shipyard. “Live Band, complimentary drink, food truck, line dancing and more!”
Now that doesn’t mean final construction and approvals won’t take longer, but it definitely has to be a real goal to have The Shipyard open in advance of the 5k event.
The Riverview Inn Closing
I want to focus on the new and exciting things of the Shipyard, but feel I have to call out some additional aspects of the Riverview Inn as many may ask.
As we all know the Covid Pandemic and business shutdowns were very impactful to New Jersey businesses.
The Riverview Inn closed and despite some early promises of reopening… it did not reopen.
Then in September 2020 a two-alarm fire took place in a portion of the building. While we could not locate interior photos, SJFirenews.com has images of the trucks and crews outside. 2 alarms can’t mean good things for the interior!
Then things really started to look bleak for the property when an auction was held for the contents of the building just 10 months ago November 2021.
While this typically is associated with a business failing and debt being reclaimed, maybe the owners realized they were going to move forward with a smaller operation and no longer needed all of of the equipment from the much larger Riverview.
In this case the new Shipyard appears to still be owned by the JG Cooks restaurant group.
Which again brings us to the exciting news of The Shipyard opening! Less than a year later!
We’ll post more as we get additional information (opening and hopefully a preview tour)
Links and Locations
The Shipyard (Pennsville) Opening Soon
60 Main Street
Pennsville NJ 08070