SEA BRIGHT: BACK TO THE BEACH @ DONOVAN’S

One of three bars at Donovan’s Reef is a thatched roof tiki bar.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Flip-flop wearing beachgoers can now drink their beverage of choice at any of three separate bars within the confines of the newly re-built Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright. PieHole recently paid its first visit to the sprawling party palace since its resurrection from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

And is this the Jersey Shore? Swaying palm trees and ocean views could easily have your thinking you’re on a tropical vacation.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? ‘ALL IN’ IN SEA BRIGHT

Shrimp, arugula and capellini pasta at the newly opened GiGi’s New York Style Pizza and Restaurant. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Admiring the new street lights installed as part of a streetscape makeover on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright earlier this week, PieHole spied the equally new GiGi’s New York Style Pizza and Restaurant.

Located next door to Melonhead in a space that most recently housed the Black Swine restaurant, which moved to a larger spot a block away, Gigi’s turns out to be owned by familiar faces: chef Kenny Gambella and his wife, Kelly, who also own Sonny’s Sandwich Shop just down the street.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A BITE AT BUBBAKOO’S

Customize your meal by mixing and matching ingredients in a bowl, burrito or taco at Bubbakoo’s Burritos. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

For this week’s What’s For Lunch, PieHole takes a a lighthearted romp through a menu of fun ingredients at the new Bubbakoo’s Burritos on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright.

Taking some of the best features from other fast food joints on the Greater Red Bank Green — such as the ordering system at Jersey Mike’s Subs, where you watch as your plate gets prepared conveyer-belt fashion— and Surf Taco, where light menu options offset the heavier ones, Bubbakoo’s creates quick meals prepared from fresh, made-in-house ingredients.
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SEA BRIGHT: TOWN HALL ON REFERENDUM

sb parking 081916 3BOROUGH of SEA BRIGHT Library + Beach PavilionSea Bright residents are scheduled to gather for a town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss a referendum on whether to bond for new public facilities to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SHRIMP, WITH BIG VIEWS

080916rumrunner5The roofed deck at McLoone’s Rum Runner. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?On a clear day, Tim McLoone‘s newly rebuilt Rum Runner restaurant in Sea Bright offers bird’s-eye views south along the Shrewsbury River past the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge, north toward Sandy Hook Bay, and to the east, beach clubs, interspersed with peeks of the Atlantic Ocean.

Stunning eye-candy aside, PieHole finds another reason to appreciate this back-from-the dead Sandy survivor.
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SANDY HOOK: ENTRY FEE HIKE PROPOSED

sandy hook 3 052613The per-car fee would jump to $20, from $15, under the proposed hike. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Beachgoers may have to pay 33 percent more to enter the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook next summer.

A proposed fee increase would boost the daily vehicle rate to $20, from the present $15, and the seasonal rate to $100, from $75.

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SANDY HOOK: BACTERIA PROMPTS SWIM BAN

sandy hook 2 052613The closure at Gunnison Beach is the second in the park this season. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

just_in1The nudists may still sunbathe in the altogether, but the surf at Sandy Hook’s clothing-optional Gunnison Beach is off-limits to the clothed and unclothed due to high levels of bacteria, NJ.com reported Tuesday.

 

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TACOS ON THE RIVER

071216beachwalk3On a clear day, views from the deck of  BeachWalk Tiki Bar include the Highlands-Sea Bright bridge.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?A neighbor’s recommendation sent PieHole in search of a well-hidden oasis in Sea Bright.

“You have to try the crabby patty and crabby fries,” Fair Haven native Jeanettje McManus insisted, and the views are spectacular.

You wouldn’t know it looking at the place from Ocean Avenue: you see a modernized motel and parking lot. But tucked behind the BeachWalk Motel is an eatery dubbed the Tiki Bar. And what you get here are jaw-dropping views of both the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers that can go on for miles.
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SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S REBUILD BEGINS

donovan's 052616donovan's 071015 3Obliterated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and revived last summer as an open-air bar (seen at right), Sea Bright’s Donovan’s Reef is finally on track to having a permanent home again, NJ.com reports. The oceanfront watering hole is two weeks into a construction project that’s estimated to take about 10 months, the news site reports.

“I’m looking forward to the return of a Donovan’s that, like the rest of the new Seas Bright, is built to last,” Mayor Dina Long told NJ.com. “Donovan’s is an integral piece of the Sea Bright fabric. Without Donovan’s in Sea Bright, it feels like something’s missing.” (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

ON THE GREEN: WARMER, THEN WETTER

sb beach 033016 2With chilly breezes and temperatures in the low 50s Wednesday, shorts and a t-shirt might have been pushing it for most folks, but not this solitary beach walker in Sea Bright.

Thursday, however, promises warmer, if less sunny conditions, with partly cloudy skies and temps nearing 70 degrees, leading into a rainy Friday and Saturday, according to the Weather Underground.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: SUMMER FOR SALE

SB beach 061614sb mural 072014 6This should take the chill out of a rainy March Monday: thoughts of sunny days on the sands of Sea Bright.

Full-season beach badges for the coming summer are still available at half price: $50. The discount ends Thursday. To get yours, visit borough hall, at 1167 Ocean Avenue, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

SANDY HOOK: TRUCK EATS TO REPLACE STANDS

imageJB Wood Fired Pizza at Sandy Hook in June, 2015. Below, the concession stand at lot B is among three to be torn down and replaced by food trucks.  (Photo above by Jim Willis, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

sandy hook concession 090114Never restored after Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012, three of the six concession stands at Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook will be demolished and replaced with food trucks and vending machines, according to a report by NJ.com.

Park superintendent Jennifer T. Nersesian told the news site that stands at areas B, C and E will be demolished, with utility hookups installed at areas C and E for the mobile food trucks and vending machines.

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SEA BRIGHT: IDEAS SOUGHT FOR PARK SITE

Sea bright anchorage park 2sb anchorage lot 040507What should become of Anchorage Park, the 1.2-acre sliver of riverside land at the foot of the Route 520 bridge in Sea Bright?

Acquired by the borough after Hurricane Sandy left the Anchorage Apartments uninhabitable in 2012, the now-vacant site may be eligible for grant money. But first, borough officials are asking for public input: should it be developed, along the lines of the concept shown above? Planted with grass and left at that?

A public discussion of the matter has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at borough hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

SANDY HOOK: NUDISTS GET MORE SAND

Any Jersey Shore denizen knows that sand migrates, even as its being used to replenish storm-depleted beaches. But the biggest beneficiary of the millions of cubic yards of sand pumped onshore to Monmouth County beaches in the past two decades turns out to be New Jersey’s only nude beach, according to NJ.com reporter Brian Donohue.

In his latest video post, Donohue informs us replenishment sand has drifted north to clothing-optional Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook, which has expanded by more than 500 feet over the past two decades and “continues to grow and grow and grow.”

So “even if all that beach replenishment doesn’t offer much long term protection against storms and rising sea levels,” says Donohue, “it certainly makes it easier for timid New Jerseyans to find some space to shed their inhibitions.” (Video courtesy of NJ.com)

 

 

SEA BRIGHT: SWIMMER DIES AFTER RESCUE

just_inA northern New Jersey man died late Monday, hours after he was pulled from the Atlantic Ocean off an unprotected beach in Sea Bright, NJ.com reported Tuesday.

Kevin Searfoss, 18, of Rockaway, died at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch at 11 p.m., borough police Chief John Sorrentino told the publication.

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SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S TIKI BAR REOPENS

donovan's 071015 3With new access ramps over the sea wall, the restored tiki bar at Donovan’s was back in business Friday afternoon, as co-owner Chris Bowler announced via the signboard, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donovan's 071015 1Thirty-two months after it was knocked cold by Hurricane Sandy, a Sea Bright watering hole stirred back to life in limited form Friday afternoon.

Employees of Donovan’s Reef, which had been a magnet to Wall Street millionaires and Side Street store clerks alike, threw open a fenced gate to its beachfront tiki bar shortly before 3 p.m., marking the end of a long, frustrating struggle, its owners said.

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SEA BRIGHT: WHALE OF A DAY AT THE BEACH

sb whale 070515Reader Betsy Lunney photographed a whale feeding in the Atlantic off the Sands Beach Club in Sea Bright Sunday afternoon. Nearby, a reported shark sighting off Driftwood Beach Club prompted police to issue a warning to bathers at about 4:30 p.m., but the warning was cancelled around 8 p.m. with a message that the shark was actually a sunfish. (Photo by Betsy Lunney. Click to enlarge.)

SEA BRIGHT: BRUNCH MAKES A BEACHHEAD

061415amaviewThe dining deck at Ama, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Below, a brunchtime bloody Mary. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061415ama1For many years, options for Sunday brunch, the 10-to-2 repast that invites an eat-whatever-you’re-in-the-mood-for approach to breakfast and lunch, were limited on the Greater Red Bank Green.

Our only choices were expensive buffets at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn and Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille, both of which required reservations and adherence to dress codes.

But the boom of new restaurants in Red Bank and Sea Bright has brought more a la carte options for brunch-seekers.

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FARMERS MARKETS: WHERE TO GET FRESH

061815sbmkt1At the Sea Bright farmers market, Meg Paska sells locally grown produce and flowers from Seven Arrows Farm, while the Holly Hill Farm table, below, offers Rumson-grown seedlings and produce.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061815sbmkt2Options for finding locally grown produce on the Greater Red Bank Green doubled with the addition last year of a farmers’ market in the Sea Bright municipal parking lot on Thursdays.

For local shoppers, that means more variety. While both Sea Bright and the Red Bank Farmers’ Market at the Galleria on summer and autumn Sundays are dependable for farm-grown veggies, there are some characteristics that differentiate the two.

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