The Marlin, a landmark bar and restauarnt in Beach Haven, prides itself on serving its LBI locals while also making friends with the island's visitors.
"We get a lot of locals who are pretty much here at least once a week" - hence Wednesday night's Locals Night with live entertainment - "but being that we're in a beach town we also get a lot of weekenders and vacationers in the summer looking to relax, have a good meal and have fun with their family and friends," says co-owner Tracey Battista, a Beach Haven local who owns and operates The Marlin with her husband, Michael, who is a former mayor of the borough and a member of its volunteer fire company.
The Marlin serves dinner daily starting at 4 p.m. with a menu centered around local seafood with an Italian flair. Battista recommends trying the popular wood-fire-roasted lobster - a Sunday special --which is cooked in the restaurant's 600-degree wood-burning oven.
The restaurant also has a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. with a select food menu and reduced-price drinks, plus an extensive specialty drink menu with several house favorites such as its six-mile sangria, mango mojito and strawberry-infused margarita, the latter infused at The Marlin.
"People love it, heck, I love it," Barrista says of the strawberry margarita.
The Marlin hosts live entertainment three nights a week: Wednesday is Locals Night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with no cover charge, plus entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays.
On Friday, July 19, local LBI DJ Ryan Roessner, of East Star Production, will perform 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Saturday, July 20, the band 3AM will perform 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
"In my lifetime, The Marlin was first a corner pub that locals frequented," Battista says. "Later, it was converted into Touch, which was solely a club. They pulled the food out. Then, Michael and I purchased it in 1994 and redesigned it to become more of a restaurant and bar, sort of a blend of the two former venues."
Today, guests often come in for dinner and happy hour and stay through the night for the live entertainment and dancing.