The food scene near the Jersey Shore is constantly changing, what's here one day may be gone the next.

For example, the Chubby Unicorn off Route 9; was one of my wife's favorite places to grab a donut every now and then, and they seemed to have closed out of nowhere.

Lite 96.9 WFPG logo
Get our free mobile app

More on the Chubby Unicorn here. 

A while ago, there was a really popular Hot Dog spot off 37, it was one of the last places to grab a bite to eat before you hit the bridge into Seaside Heights.

It was called Chomp; it was a pretty popular spot, which closed seemingly out of nowhere one day only to leave us asking "What's next?"

What was next was a place called Big Dogs Cafe.

READ MORE: Don't Forget Your Sunscreen Etiquette At The Shore This Summer

If you're not familiar, Big Dogs Cafe did breakfast, lunch, and some dinner stuff and had a wide menu.

I went once or twice and absolutely loved it, and was even more excited when I saw they opened a second location in Bayville. 

But now the rumor mill is churning about what's really going on with Big Dog Cafe.

I saw on the Toms River Facebook Group that someone tried to visit the Big Dog location off 37 and it looked closed in the middle of the day.

READ MORE: NJ's Best Donut Shop Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Craving!

No sign on the door, but the door was locked.

People started wondering what was going on.

Just the other day I drove by the Big Dog Cafe off 37 and noticed a sign in the window, and it wasn't a good sign.

Big Dogs Cafe Toms River nj, Big Dogs Cafe Toms River nj Closed, what's going on with big dogs cafe in toms river nj
Photo Credit: Buehler

For Rent.

Then, when you Google Big Dogs Cafe, it comes up as a permanently closed location.

It's never a good day when a cool little local business goes under, especially one that seemed to be doing pretty well.

Hopefully, we will see Big Dogs return in the future, until then we're left asking "What's Next?"

Sadly, we've lost a lot of great restaurants over the last year.

Restaurants that closed in New Jersey During 2023

Here are some of the restaurants that closed their doors around New Jersey in 2023 listed alphabetically. Did your favorite restaurant close in 2023? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander