Bocca Coal Fired Bistro is about to enter its first summer in Margate, and judging by the positive feedback and continuously packed house it's been getting ever since it opened in the fall, it's going to be a good one.
"This summer is going to be craziness," says Director of Marketing and Social Media Erin Mahon, "and I mean that in a very good way."
Bocca opened its doors Oct. 31, just days after Hurricane Sandy wreacked havoc on its hometown.
"We had eight inches of water inside," Mahon says. "We had a cleanup team on standby and had the bar opened that Wednesday night (two days after the hurricane made landfall), serving drinks and pizza."
Margate natives Lou Freedman and Ron Citta are the owners of Bocca. The longtime friends had shared joint business ventures in the past, but neither had ever owned a restaurant before Bocca.
Bocca's prime location, which is right in the "heart of Margate" on Ventnor Avenue, formerly Glennings Sailfish Cafe, is what enticed the men to jump on the opportunity.
"It's a great location and Margate needed something like Bocca in that area," Mahon says. "It's right in the center of everything, in walking distance from most people's homes, two blocks from the beach."
Mahon described Bocca Coal Fired Bistro as a gourmet pizzeria and bar with a "casual elegant" atmosphere. In others words, you can come in dressed up for an elegant evening dinner or you come in shorts and flip flops for a beer and a slice a pizza, the latter being their signature cuisine, made in their coal-fire ovens.
The venue can be divided into three separate spaces: the pizzeria, which offers on-site dining as well as takeout and delivery options; the dining room, which is little more of a formal setting; and the bar, which also has tables and live entertainment three days a week.
Bocca is hosting live acoustic musicians three times a week, every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Entertainment will start around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9:30 p.m. on weekends.
This weekend's lineup includes Robert Polillo, 9:30 p.m., Friday, May 3, and Melanie & Tony, 9:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4. Performing next Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. is Tom Pacitto. All upcoming entertainment is posted on its website.
Happy Hour Specials:
Bocca has a daily happy hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. which includes $5 select wines, $6 Martinis and Manhattans, $4 well drinks, $2 Rolling Rock, Yuengling and Coors Light drafts.
The bar also features a large selection of craft beers and a specialty martini menu, with a featured martini each week.
"Last week was the Strawburst," Mahon says, "a strawberry puree with citris vodka and lemon juice."