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Restaurant founders outside of Dock's Oyster House in 1897


In 1897, Harry "call me Dock" Dougherty believed there was a great opportunity in Atlantic City to open a restaurant that would serve the finest seafood available in a clean, comfortable and friendly atmosphere. And so he opened Dock's Oyster House, with 60 seats, no liquor license and very high standards. Dock's quickly became a favorite of locals and tourists alike, with lines often forming out the door on Atlantic Avenue (and at the back door for those in the know).

Harry's vision has been carried on by four generations of Dougherty's who share his commitment to quality and service. That commitment sustained Dock's through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the decline and rebirth of Atlantic City (a few times), and in 1997, the entire community celebrated the centennial anniversary of Dock's Oyster House.

black and white photo of second generation restauranteur Joe Dougherty in front of Dock's Oyster House

Of course, you don't survive in Atlantic City for 125 years without keeping up with the times, including some major renovations every few decades or so. In 1945, the second generation of Dougherty's enlarged the restaurant to 80 seats.

Fifteen years later, the third generation purchased a liquor license for the first time, expanded the dining room again, and installed a completely modern kitchen.  After another decade passed, a small cocktail lounge was added, and in 2001 a team of third and fourth generation Dougherty's revamped the dining room and bar, adding a raw bar that quickly became a local hot spot

In 2015, the fourth generation decided it was time to give our loyal customers what they have been requesting for years—more space--by taking over a portion of the parking lot for a 3-story addition.  The existing dining room was gutted to make way for a much larger bar which of course includes the raw bar and beloved piano bar.  Dinner seating capacity doubled with dining on two floors, including a private dining room on the second level.  The project also provided what our chef has been asking for—a new, much larger, and thoroughly modern kitchen!

The restaurant continues to blend the classic oyster bar feel with the upscale dining and maritime touches that Dock's fans have enjoyed over the years.  And all of your favorite dishes remain on the menu, from Dock's Classics such as the Crab Au Gratin and Seafood Fry to perennial favorites Pecan Crusted Salmon and Crispy Wasabi Tuna, as well as, naturally, a large selection of oysters and lobster in all sizes!  Despite its larger size, guests at Dock's are still welcomed into the warm, friendly environment that has established this family owned restaurant as a local institution.

empty seafood restaurant set for dinner service
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