WILDWOOD - Alcoholic beverages will be available this summer on the city's section of the Boardwalk.

A new ordinance, which will take effect June 8, allows as many as three restaurants to serve alcohol on the boards.

The ordinance comes nearly four years after North Wildwood's City Council - despite protests from some adults and children in the community - voted to allow alcoholic drink service on its end of the Boardwalk.

That service began in July 2006 at Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club at 25th Avenue.

At the time, Morey's Piers said it wanted to sell wine, beer and drinks such as margaritas and pina coladas as part of a plan to give the waterpark more of a beach-resort atmosphere.

North Wildwood Mayor Bill Henfey said since that time the city has not experienced any problems related to the drink service.

"There has not been one issue with it," Henfey said Thursday. Drinks also are available at the restaurant at the Montego Bay Resort at 1800 Boardwalk.

Wildwood Mayor Gary DeMarzo anticipates alcoholic drink sales should run as smoothly on the Wildwood end of the Boardwalk and that the city will monitor the businesses selling alcohol.

"We will be keeping an eye on it," he said.

The ordinance reads, in part, "The city wishes to emphasize the family theme of the Boardwalk and Piers and to assure that no inappropriate behavior occurs as a result of the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages."

Wildwood's ordinance, passed Wednesday, permits the serving of alcoholic beverages only at restaurants with a minimum of 100 seats.

The facilities must be "full-service restaurants providing complete meals including, but not limited to, dinners with soup, salad, main entree, vegetables and dessert."

In addition, the ordinance prohibits sales of package goods as well as drink service "at a bar, waiting area or counter."

Clark Doran, planner for Morey's Piers, said the company submitted its application to the city's Planning/Zoning Office Thursday for the necessary approvals to provide limited drink service at Jumbo's Restaurant on Mariner's Landing Pier at Schellenger Avenue and the Boardwalk.

He said the service, part of an upgrade to the menu at Jumbo's, likely would not be available until mid-summer.

Planning Secretary Joyce Russell said a second company, Aloha Joe's LLC, also submitted an application to sell alcohol at Captain Jack's restaurant on Hunt's Pier near Juniper Avenue.

That company leases the space from Morey's Piers, Doran said.

The Planning/Zoning Board will hear the applications June 14.

Some business owners raised concerns that the licenses would detract from businesses not on the Boardwalk, but city officials said the limited number of licenses should not adversely affect those businesses.

DeMarzo said the city would keep the number of Boardwalk licenses limited to three.

The ordinance states that alcohol can be sold on the Boardwalk between 10 a.m. and midnight and prohibits the consumption of alcohol between 12:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

The ordinance also limits the playing of music to "subdued background music, played low enough so as not to be audible on the Boardwalk."

The liquor license holders also must submit a management plan explaining how they will operate.

Wildwood has a total of 60 liquor licenses including two club licenses, three liquor store licenses, 50 plenary retail consumption licenses and five hotel/motel licenses for facilities with 100 sleeping rooms or more. Neighboring North Wildwood has 23 liquor licenses.

No new liquor licenses were created for the ordinance. Instead, existing licenses were transferred for use on the pier.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:

609-463-6716