Unless you’re brand spanking new to Sea Isle City, you’ve either heard of, been to, or quite possibly met your soul mate at The Ocean Drive — affectionately called “The OD” by locals. An intrinsic part of the hustle and bustle that is summer in Sea Isle City, Ocean Drive is known as much for its jumping dance floor as for its drink specials. And while most people know about The OD, not everyone knows about The OD Sandbar & Grill, the outside restaurant and bar that’s sat adjacent to it since 2012. In case you are one of them, here are a few facts to get you up to speed.
1. It’s a family-friendly restaurant by day
While The OD never used to serve food, the addition of the Sandbar changed things. The outdoor restaurant is open daily through the summer serving items like the Sandbar Summer Salad, made with arugula, watermelon, feta, toasted almonds and balsamic dressing; spicy Korean cauliflower “wings” made from crispy fried cauliflower bites in the OD’s sweet and mildly spicy Asian sauce; firecracker shrimp, which are tossed in firecracker sauce and served on a bed of lettuce; and Bavarian-style soft pretzels served with sweet Bavarian mustard.
2. It becomes an extension of the nightclub at night
Food is served until 10 p.m. at the Sandbar which stays open until closing, with OD patrons heading in and out to try any of 10 tap beers — including brews from Victory, Ludlam and Goose Island — or frozen cocktails like the Dirty Banana (dark rum, Kahlua, banana liquor, and chocolate syrup), Get Lucky (Pinnacle whipped cream vodka, Rumple Minze, crème de menthe, ice cream and chocolate sauce) or Iced Miami (half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri). While there, check out the OD Stomp, (3 Olives orange vodka, lemon lime soda, triple sec and a splash of orange juice), a drink named after a song written about The OD by Secret Service, which performs there regularly.
3. There’s live music daily
Things may be quiet in the winter, but the Sandbar makes up for that in summer, with live music 5 to 9 p.m. most days. This week, there’s Gypsy Wisdom Duo on Thursday; Kim & Tonic on Friday; Secret Service and Piano Fight Club Dueling Pianos on Saturday; Laura Lea Acoustic on Monday; The Benderz Duo on Tuesday; and Mike Thompson on Wednesday. Inside at The OD is a constant flow of the region’s best bands and DJ’s with Gypsy Wisdom on Thursday; GoGo Gadjet and DJ Tommy B on Friday: Lost in Paris and DJ Freezie on Saturday; Secret Service, DJ Steve, GoGo Gadjet and DJ Montone on Sunday; Eric & Pat on Dueling Pianos on Monday; The Benderz plus DJ Ryno on Tuesday; and Secret Service and DJ Steve on Wednesday.
4. There’s a definite beach aesthetic
It’s a beach town, so it’s no surprise that the Sandbar has a beach vibe. With over 100 seats under umbrellas, a sand area and miniature brightly colored lifeguard stands to keep the kids entertained and surfboard tables shaped by Brian Heritage of Heritage Surf Shop throughout the restaurant, it’s a little piece of island paradise. And with 10 flat screens at the bar, which is stationed under a permanent roof, you can watch a game without ever leaving the beach (or beach bar, as the case may be.)
5. They have a ton of specials
In addition to weekly bar specials — $3 White Claws and Bud Lights on Thursdays; $3 bottles, $4 Corona on Mondays; $3 Bud Lights on Tuesdays; and $2.50 bottles and $4 Coronas on Wednesdays — there are three separate mug specials. The “Food Fest Mug,” offered from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, comes filled with a domestic draft for $5, with refills for $2.75. The “No Shower Happy Hour Mug”, offered from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, comes filled with Three Olives Vodka drinks for $5, with refills available for $3. And the last mug, the “Sunday Jam Mug,” offered from 5 to 10 p.m. on Sundays, is filled with OD’s special lemonade cocktail for $5, with refills available for $3. Mugs can be taken home and brought back at the time of each particular special for the discounted refills.