Ugly Mug

Cape May’s Ugly Mug, known for having beer mugs hung from its ceiling, has live music throughout the week.

Cape May during the winter is a very different place than Cape May in high season. Instead of bustling crowds carousing through Washington Street Mall during summer evenings, there’s a distinct quiet that overtakes the area, with seasonal businesses closed and significantly smaller crowds. And that’s good news for us locals, who get the town, and the fun, practically to ourselves. Here, five Cape May bars to get to in the offseason.

1. The Mad Batter.

At “The Batter,” as it’s affectionately known to locals, there is live music seven days a week, all year round. After being closed for a few weeks for renovations, The Batter is back with both live music and fantastic cocktails. Head there this week for Mike Flanigan on Thursday, The Squares on Friday and Wednesday, Jimm Ross Trio on Saturday and Monday, Open Mic Night on Sunday, and The Honey Hawks on Tuesday. Located at 19 Jackson St. Go to for more information.

2. Fins Bar & Grille.

As one of the newer Cape May establishments, Fins manages to appeal to customers who love food, music and eye-catching décor. (Their spectacular blue bar is reason enough to head in). Open year round, Fins has live music on weekends — check out The Matt Adams Duo on Friday and The Wet Bandits on Saturday — as well as a locals’ appreciation night every Thursday, complete with bar specials. On Sundays during the offseason, they host a Sunday Social, with a portion of funds donated to a different non-profit each week. Located at 142 Decatur St. Head to for more information.

3. 5 West Pub.

Located in North Cape May, 5 West Pub takes you away from the hype of Cape May proper and directly to the quiet of North Cape May and loads of good food; they have a Buffalo Chicken Noodle Soup, need we say more? Stop in there to catch a game over an ice-cold beer. Get there on Friday s for half-price wine by the bottle and $6 sliders, mussels and frites between 3 and 6 p.m. Located at 3729 Bayshore Road. Go to for more.

4. The Ugly Mug.

The Ugly Mug is the quintessential Washington Street Mall must-stop locale. Steeped in tradition — just take a look at the ceiling of mugs belonging to members of the Ugly Mug Club — The Ugly Mug boasts a great menu and loads of live music. And for people watching? The location can’t be beat. Located at 426 Washington St. in Cape May. Go to UglyMug.Bar for more.

5. Carney’s.

While it may not be open nightly, Carney’s is still open when it counts in the offseason — the weekends. Look for South Jersey’s top bands and DJs weekly. And they always offer a little taste of summer no matter what the thermometer states with their signature “crushes.” Our pick? The Creamsicle Crush. Located at 411 Beach Ave.; go to

Get our Best Bets at the Jersey shore delivered to your inbox every Wednesday, just in time to plan your weekend!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments