When you order a meal at the Oasis Bar at the Headliner in Neptune it will be Executive Chef Mike Pappone who will prepare it for you.
By ED SALVAS
The new executive chef at the Oasis Pub at the Headliner in Neptune is a familiar face at the Route 35 club. Mike Pappone, who returned to the Headliner on Oct. 26, had previously been on the kitchen staff there for four years working with the former chef who died earlier this year.
Pappone said he’s happy to be back working for Carney Vetrano and his partners and looks forward to creating a new dining experience at the Oasis Bar at the Headliner.
After less than a month on the job, Pappone said there are many unresolved issues stemming from the Covid 19 pandemic. Just getting past Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a challenge. They will be open Thanksgiving eve, usually a very busy night for bars, but closed on Thanksgiving so the staff can enjoy the holiday. They will also be open for New Year’s Eve. The new year of 2021 is still a big question mark for many businesses.
Pappone said he’s working on a new menu for the Oasis and hopes to introduce it in the spring. He wants to create more of a dining spot, serving more “comfort food” and is designing a place where people come for dinner and drinks.
The Headliner and Oasis Bar were shut down in March due to the pandemic but bounced back when the restrictions were lifted and they’ve done well with take out and delivery using services Door Dash and Grub Hub. The Headliner is also known as a popular place for fundraisers for local organizations and individuals who need assistance, but all the events for 2020 scheduled after March were canceled.
Pappone has no formal culinary training, saying he learned his way around the kitchen during his career at a variety of jobs. Starting at age 11 selling lemonade and french fries at the Englishtown Auction where he learned the importance of punctuality, to his most recent position as executive chef at the Sheraton Edison Hotel in Raritan Center. He said the corporate environment was not for him because of “too many rules.” He prefers working on his own in a family-like setting.
The Manalapan Township native now lives in Freehold with his fiance, Jessica Guillen. Get more info about the Headliner Oasis Bar online at www.headlineroasis.com