Cape May's Rusty Nail specializes in casual comfort

Bartender Sara Werner, of Cape May, makes a drink at the Rusty Nail Beach Shack in Cape May.

The Rusty Nail Beach Shack in Cape May has been going strong for three years, becoming a favorite beachside hangout for locals and visitors alike.

Andrew Skilton, restaurant manager for the Rusty Nail, believes the establishment's focus on staying true to the laidback, island vibe makes the bar enjoyable for people of all ages.

"Our nightlife philosophy is really to be all-inclusive for all age groups and demographics," Skilton says. "Our entertainment focuses on classic rock, reggae and 'beachy' tunes like The Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett."

Adding to the "beachy" vibe of the Rusty Nail is the outdoor seating, which overlooks the bay.

"There is nothing more enjoyable in Cape May," Skilton says, "than relaxing in the sand, by a fire pit, with ice, cold beer and listing to great music."

Be Our Guest

A Local Favorite: "This is our third season, and the Rusty Nail has long been a favorite hangout of local surfers and lifeguards," Skilton says. "We decided to keep that theme alive, even though we have renovated the property."

Familiar Faces: Some acts that frequent the Rusty Nail include The Guy Petersen Band, Tru Buddhas, Back 2 Life, Greg Carpenter and The Simple Minded Budz.

Every Day's Special: Instead of having traditional Happy Hour, the Rusty Nail offers $3 domestic draft beer every day. "We were voted 'Coldest Beer in Cape May' by Exit Zero Magazine last summer," Skilton says.

Drink To This: Some of the favorite cocktails at the Rusty Nail include "The Hammer," made of Malibu Black coconut rum, light and dark Bermuda rums, passionfruit puree, fresh lemon and juices, served in a coconut shell, or the Margarita Superiore, which includes 100 percent agave Casa Noble Blanco tequila, fresh-squeezed lemon, lime and orange, served with a Hawaiian black lava salted rim. The Rusty Nail even will serve up specialty "mocktails" for designated drivers or non-drinkers.

Favorite Fare: "We focus on 'down the shore favorites,' which typically feature a lot of local seafood," Skilton explains. "Some of our specialty dishes include our local fish tacos, jumbo lump crab cakes, Chef Jimmy's BBQ ribs, Cape May scallops and conch fritters."

See ya Irene: Check out the following post-hurricane "Good Night Irene" specials good through Monday. For drinks, there's the "Welcome Back to Jersey" farm-fresh Sangria, homemade using local wine and fresh fruit from Beach Plum Farm. It costs $5.50. For food, sample Stuffed cold-water lobster with choice of buttermilk mashed potatoes, baked potato or baked yam, and veggie of the day for $34.