The Mad Hatter has given up on a proposal to operate out of a tent and plans to reopen a portion of its storm-damaged building. Below, beer bottles seen through the restaurant window last month.  (Click to enlarge)


Dropping a controversial proposal to operate out of a large tent for the summer, Sea Bright’s Mad Hatter plans to reopen this month in its original, storm-whacked location, according to an announcement Wednesday afternoon.

In a Facebook post, owners Scott and Amy Kelly said the popular sports bar is scheduled to reopen May 23, operating out of the Ocean Avenue structure’s back room and tiki bar, supplemented for the summer by a mobile kitchen.

The earlier proposal, made to borough officials just last month, called for a 400-person tent to be erected at the edge of the municipal parking two blocks away, and faced an array of red tape involving state and local agencies. Some other downtown merchants opposed the plan, which they said would eat up too much public parking.

The Kellys have been displaced both from their business and home above the bar since Hurricane Sandy on October 29.

Here’s the full FB post:

I heard you missed us, we’re back! I brought my Hatter Koozie….The 2013 Summer is just two weeks away and the MAD HATTER WILL BE OPEN!! We are scheduled to open on Thursday, May 23rd. We will be operating at our existing Sea Bright location at 10 East Ocean Avenue. We will be using the existing, Mad Hatter back room and the Tiki Bar to open temporarily for the summer. We will be bringing in a mobile kitchen and will be serving our Award Winning Thin Crust Pizza, Wings, Burgers and other popular Hatter cravings. We will also be ready for deliveries to the beach, beach clubs, and the local area. Of course, the Mad Hatter’s rocking bar will be back with familiar faces ready to make your favorite drink and pour you a Fireball. We are going for a beach casual, laid back, beach shack vibe with some live music and Sea Bright’s carefree attitude. We will be closing sometime after the summer to start the construction process of the New, Improved and Sustainable Mad Hatter. We are so excited to be back and open and enjoying another summer with our friends and dedicated customers! No Hurricane is going to keep Sea Bright from rising, that’s just How We Roll In the Bright! See y’all in two weeks!!! Like our Facebook Page for updated information and visit us at for up to date pics, progress and upcoming events.