Locals rejoice — The Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar in Cape May is back open and better than ever.

The award-winning establishment had been closed for renovations since early January, and will reopen Thursday, Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day dinner.

Mark Kulkowitz, who co-owns the restaurant with Pam Huber, says the changes include upgrades and additional kitchen equipment, as well as new flooring and fresh wallpaper.

How will it impact the customers?

“Hopefully it will lead to greater efficiency,” Kulkowitz says. “We seat 170 people, so we have another pizza oven to make our homemade pizzas, a more energy-efficient fryer to fry our french fries. We’re 36 years old and the last time the kitchen was renovated was more than 25 years ago so we were due for some sprucing up.”

The Mad Batter was originally opened in 1979 by Mark’s father Harry.

Monthly art shows:

Before Harry became a restaurateur, he was an art dealer and owned the Kenmore Gallery in Philadelphia.

In honor of his love of art, The Mad Batter hosts monthly art shows by local artists.

Currently the restaurant is hosting the artwork of students of Lower Cape May Regional High School enrolled in an advance art class. The show will be on display throughout the month.

Live music:

As with the art, The Mad Batter aims to promote and celebrate local musicians by giving them a space to perform.

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 19, and running 10 weeks until Wednesday, April 23, the restaurant will host guitar sessions led by local musician Geno White.

The lessons will run 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a performance by the Geno White Duo 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The restaurant hosts live music almost every evening, Kulkowitz says.