Sea Isle City's iconic indoor beach bar, The Ocean Drive, recently added an outdoor extension to its establishment, The Sandbar and Grill.
The Sandbar and Grill, which opened last summer, is a large outdoor area of sand and cement with a rectangular bar at its core, surrounded by tables with umbrellas and a smaller tiki bar in one corner.
The Ocean Drive's owners had also owned property next to its establishment, which they had torn down to make the addition.
"We had the opportunity to do it," says one of its three owners, Ralph Pasceri. "People want to be outside in the summer. It's just another aspect of our business for people to enjoy."
Guests can enter The Sandbar and Grill through The OD during its hours of operation, or directly from the street where it has its own private access, just steps from the beach. Adding The Sandbar and Grill allowed The OD to extend its dining options, now serving food outside from noon to 10 p.m. daily, with a "casual and creative bar food menu" created by head chef Bill Urbaczewski, who is also head chef of its neighboring sister restaurant, O'Donnell's Pour House.
In the evenings, The Sandbar and Grill operates during the same hours as The OD, offering guests a more intimate area (read: quieter) to escape to from the dance floor for a while. Its bar features eight drafts and crafts on tap, mixed drinks and wines by the glass. Happy Hour at The Sandbar and Grill is Monday to Friday from 4-10 p.m. and includes its popular mug special where patrons are allowed to buy a $5 souvenir mug filled with Bud Light Draft and bring it back indefinitely during happy hour for $2.50 refills.
Every year, the mug design changes and Pasceri says he sometimes sees people bringing in mugs from as far back as 1984.
"If you look in kitchen cabinets throughout Sea Isle City, you'll see a collection of The OD's mugs," Pasceri says.
Whereas The Ocean Drive offers more of a nightclub setting, with live bands and DJs raging with the crowd into the morning hours –– including during its popular weekend daytime parties, "No Shower Happy Hour" every Saturday and Sunday from 4-8 p.m. –– the Sandbar and Grill offers more of a casual, relaxing escape.
The Sandbar has several mounted TVs airing sports and hosts live acoustic musicians every Thursday and Friday during its happy hour.
This week's lineup include Class A Kings on Thursday, Aug. 8 and Brandi and Marty on Friday, Aug. 9.