By SUSAN ERICSON
Sea Bright is all hustle and bustle during the summer, so hungry and thirsty beachgoers zipping along Ocean Avenue might might not notice Eventide Grille, which isn’t even visible from the street. Locals, on the other hand, are well aware of this gem of riverside restaurant and watering hole tucked in behind the Navesink Marina.
PieHole stopped by on a breezy weeknight to rub elbows with a happy hour crowd that for the most part arrived on foot.
Vodka martinis are a bargain during happy hour. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
Even from the parking lot, there’s no sign of the small patio and bar area. But walk around the building and the outdoor haven becomes a welcome oasis.
“The crowd is a little older at happy hour, and mostly locals who walk over from the condos,” bartender Ally Werner tells us. Later in the evening, the customers tend to be younger, she said.
The vibe is a relaxed beach-community-get-together for drinks — $2 off at happy hour — and a bar menu of sandwiches, pizzas, fish and chips, and seafood. We recommend the drunken clams.
A super-chill reggae beat in the background and quiet buzz of conversation adds to the tranquil scene.
An order of vodka martinis, one more traditional with olives and the other a rosy pink with a splash of cranberry juice, is typical of the cocktails served here. Werner tells us the evening and weekend crowds prefer fruity mixed drinks, such as the pervasive $12 rum bucket. Of course, beer on tap or by the bottle is on the menu, too.
Live music, usually offered toward the end of the week, starts at 6 p.m., bringing in larger, fan-based crowds. Inclement weather moves the music to the bar inside the restaurant.
Eventide Grille, tucked in behind Navesink Marina at 1400 Ocean Avenue, is open daily, at 11:30 a.m. with happy hour specials served from 4 to 7 p.m.