Keyport Thursdays Kicks Off With 2000+ Visitors At Stronger Than The Storm Throwdown
With over 2000 Superstorm Sandy survivors cheering him on, Drew Araneo had the home field advantage in the Voo Doo Shrimp Throw Down against celebrity chef Bobby Flay as the Keyport Bayshore Business Cooperative kicked off their Keyport Thursdays promotion with a big assist from the State of New Jersey’s Stronger Than The Storm campaign.
KBBC President Cliff Moore welcomed the crowd with an enthusiastic report of Keyport’s recovery since Sandy hit. 22 of the 26 restaurants destroyed by the storm have reopened and 7 new businesses have open in Keyport as the Raritan Bayside borough has rebounded.
Mayor Harry Aumack welcomed first time visitors to Keyport’s Waterfront Park and told them that the ground they were on was under 14 feet of water during Sandy. “Only the top of the gazebo was visible. We had a 14 foot storm surge, the largest of the storm, verified by NOAA,” said Aumack.
Moore introduced The Culinary MC, Billy Harris with feigned envy, “I wish I had his hair.”
The crowd warmly greeted the celebrities, Flay, Harris and judges retired NBA star Darryl Dawkins, Disco Queen Gloria Gaynor and James Oseland, editor-in-chef of Saveur Magazine. But Araneo, owner of the recently reopened Drew’s Bayshore Bistro was clearly the hometown favorite.
The judges did not disappoint, calling the Throw Down for Araneo, 2-1.