Every beach town should have a superior beach bar. At least that's the perspective of Lou Ventura, owner of Ventura's Greenhouse in Margate.
Located off Benson Avenue beach, next to Lucy the Elephant, Ventura's Greenhouse offers direct beach access for outdoor drinks and dining.
"It's the only beachfront bar in the area until you get in Atlantic City," general manger Barbara Scheetz says.
Lou Ventura opened Ventura's Greenhouse in 1984 as a little restaurant and added to it over the years. Today, Ventura's has two outdoor decks, a cafe and an indoor dining room.
On summer days, beachgoers head to the outdoor tiki bar on the deck for drinks and lunch in a laid-back, family-friendly environment. The deck has two bars, an extensive cocktail menu, bottled beers and daily drink specials and gourmet bar food such as a clam bar, a popular homemade pizza menu, burgers, salads, sandwiches and more.
Dinner is served starting at 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays with seating inside or out. Thursday is Mexican night, offering specials on Mexican cuisine, $1 off all margaritas and $4 Corona (typically $5).
"Ventura's is known for its good service and homemade food, with a lot of family recipes on the menu," Scheetz says. "People love the deck, too, especially when the weather's nice."
The deck remains open through September then closes until around May, depending on the weather. But the inside is open year-round, seven days a week, with offseason specials such as half-priced appetizers from 3 to 6 p.m., and then again from 9 p.m. to close.
Ventura's tiki deck is the place to spend your Sunday afternoon, with live entertainment on the deck provided by DJ Johnny Looch and dinner and drink specials including $10 Voo Doo buckets (typically $15), which is a jumbo concoction of rums and juices.
Entertainment is from 3 to 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 8, Ventura's Greenhouse is hosting a post-party for Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation's 12th annual "SURF FOR A CAUSE." Tickets are $20 at the door and include food, raffles, live entertainment and a cash bar.