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Nippers Pub – Westville, NJ

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Barking up the right tree.

Nipper’s Pub
Westville, NJ
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Meal: Dinner / Weekday / 645p
Price: $37 (For Two – With Drinks and Tip)

Westville really only has two authentic bars – Nipper’s Pub and Schileen’s, who we’ve previously reviewed. While Nipper’s clearly isn’t filling the house like Schileen’s does, it is a decidedly different environment and may actually be a better bet if you’re already happy with your existing company. My brother and I decided to give Nipper’s a go-round during the tail-end of its daily happy hour, and both felt we got our money’s worth.

Nipper’s is located on Rt47, which is a major vein of South Jersey and fairly easily accessible. While not a huge building, it has a medium-sized indoor pub and an outside stone-paved deck that is available in the spring and summer. Painted parking is typically overwhelmed on weekends where you’ll probably end up parking on the dirt right next to the regular spots. Unless there’s lousy weather and you’re walking in mud, it’s not a big deal at all. Once inside, you’re greeted with a clean-looking, well-designed interior that lets you sit at the bar, across from the bar at ‘for two’ tables, or at regular square tables further back. I prefer this kind of setup as it really eliminates some awkward seating setups I’ve seen elsewhere. Nipper’s get an A+ for keeping it simple. Most of the patrons we saw probably ranged in age from 30-40, and everyone was very polite as we commented on the ‘cage fighting’ we saw on the big screen. I counted 6 large flatscreen TVs on the wall, and like any good bar they’ll put something on for you specific if you ask. The music was only medium-loud, and it was fairly easy to talk to my brother without shouting. On select Friday nights it appears they have live music.

We started with some drinks. As usual, I ordered a long island ice tea and my brother ordered a pair of domestic beers. My brother commented that during the week they usually only staff one bartender, which can make bar service very slow. While that was indeed only a single barkeep on this particular visit, he seemed to get our drinks out fairly quickly all the same. More important to me was the quality of the long island iced tea, however. I’ve written before about my disappointment with many establishments that deliver what seems like a very diluted version of a drink that by its ingredients should be pretty damn strong, but fortunately Nipper’s did me right. I did not notice them put any of the dreaded ‘sour mix’ filler in it, and after a single medium-large glass (filled 3/4 with ice), I was feeling the effects. I ordered a second and was *really* feeling the effects. At $3 each for the beers and $6 each for the LITs, it may have been slightly high for happy hour but very reasonable compared to regular rates.

For dinner we ordered a chicken cutlet sandwich and a chicken cheesesteak wrap, both served with fries and a pickle. The wrap, which I ordered, definitely hit the spot. It was filled soundly with tender chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes, and it was comparable to some of the better wraps I’ve had elsewhere. It wasn’t especially big, maybe in line with a ‘small’ you’d order at the sub place, but it was well presented and very tasty. My brother’s chicken cutlet looked to be a larger portion lightly-fried cutlet on a medium-sized sub roll with lettuce and tomatoes. He apparently has ordered this several times and did mention that they’ve made it better in the past, but did not offer any direct reason why it wasn’t as good this time. When I asked him to score it numerically on a scale to five, he gave it a four. Sounds like they’ve been *great* in the past and simply *good* today. I thought the fries were excellent, and finished mine off and some of his. They were regular thin french-cut (not shoestring and not the steak ones) in good quantity and perfectly cooked. Both sandwiches came in at $6.50.

At just over $31 before the tip, including 4 alcoholic drinks and two very good sandwiches, it’s hard to complain about the price. You might find better happy hour specials elsewhere, especially with mixed drinks, but Nipper’s will probably give you a better stuff to eat in an environment that lets you be yourself. Given its size, it’s not likely to be a magnet for too many singles, but if you’re meeting for a first date it’s definitely a great place to go.

Pros:

– Less noisy and crowded than other bars
– Terrific food at reasonable prices
– No cheating on alcohol
– Outdoor deck (and additional bar)

Cons:

– Happy hour specials weren’t amazing
– Not the biggest venue; may have difficulty meeting new people consistently

Guru’s Score: 4.5 Chews

 ★★★★½

Subjective rating: One of our first choices for drinks.

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Nippers Pub - Westville, NJ, 4.3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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