1. It's where Mediterranean meets California Avenue. Bungalow Lounge and Restaurant is now in its second summer of transporting people to the islands of Mykonos, Greece and Ibiza, Spain, or at least Miami, Fla., with white couches, palm trees, exotic mixed drinks, flavorful hookahs and service on the sand. It is definitely European in style, but unmistakably cool no matter where you're from. "When people tell you that it feels like you're not in Atlantic City, that tells you that you did something special," General Manager Dino Dounoulis says.
2. You'll rest your sangria in the sand. Atlantic City already has a number of beach bars, but Bungalow brings a new concept, with plans to add drink service at cabanas, beds and beach chairs just over the dunes. The last place to try such South Beach style in the city, Nikki Beach Club, was short-lived due to a snafu with state environmental regulations. They are currently just serving lunch there, but they expect permits to provide alcohol on the beach later this summer.
3. Enjoy smoking on the water. Bungalow is one of the only places in Atlantic City where you can smoke hookah, an ancient but once foreign smoking device that has become increasingly popular in the United States over the last several years. With a menu featuring 14 varieties of flavored tobacco to try, they're both delicious and relaxing, especially if you're lounging on one of the couches or looking out at the ocean from a beach chair.
4. When the clouds are away, the music plays. There is a regular lineup of DJs playing so-called "hammock house" music outside, whenever the weather permits, usually on weekday nights and all day Friday and Saturday. It isn't like club music is blaring in your ears when you're trying to chill, but instead it adds to the glamorous, alluring atmosphere.
5. It's open long after the beaches close. Dounoulis says they plan to keep Bungalow open throughout the year from now on, which is possible given the interior area with a bar and barstools. Having that also means that even when it rains, they're still pouring drinks. In fact, when it's especially inclimate, they'll brighten things up by deducting a few dollars off the drink prices.