The band Animal House gets the crowd on their feet to enjoy the music at Carney's, in Cape May.

Danny Drake

For the past 33 years, Carney’s has been the premier nightlife spot in Cape May.

“If you ask anyone driving down the street ‘What’s there to do tonight?’ They’ll say ‘Carney’s,’” owner and operator Joe Carney says.

Carney’s is located on a beach block in the heart of Cape May. The restaurant and bar are made up of two rooms.

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There’s Carney’s Main Room, a casual space for beachgoers to grab lunch or drinks, and Carney’s Other Room, the formal dining room.

The menu is “upscale bar food with an emphasis on local seafood,” Carney says.

The main room is where the nightlife goes on. Carney’s has live DJs and cover bands Wednesdays to Sundays and karaoke nights on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“As corny as its sounds, our karaoke nights have a huge following,” Carney says.

So much so that Carney had to push it to two days a week to deal with the demand.

Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. daily with discounts on both drinks and appetizers, and the crowd is made up of an eclectic mix of all ages.

Upcoming special event:

Carney’s will be hosting a benefit for the late Jim Reagan, a lifelong resident of Cape May and an iconic builder who passed away in June. The benefit will take place on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3.

Reagan played a large role in the building of many Cape May landmarks, including Hotel Olcott, the Southern Mansion and Carney’s

“His fingerprints are pressed all over this town,” Carney says. “He’s every bit the icon in Cape May that Carney’s is.”

The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. and includes live entertainment and a one-hour open bar from 5 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Coming Up:

Friday: Jumper

Saturday: Karma

Sunday: Animal House

Monday and Tuesday: Karaoke

Thursday: Big House


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