SEA BRIGHT SERVES UP BEACH VOLLEYBALL

sea_bright_volleyball_4Press release from Sea Bright Volleyball

The Sea Bright Beach Volleyball League is serving up notice that the action will be in full swing for summer 2015, with registration open now, and play starting June 1st.

Whether you’re new to the sport or a veteran of many years on the court, Sea Bright Volleyball has something for everyone. Teams can opt to play in either the Monday or Tuesday night “Fun Leagues,” or in the Co-ed 6v6. If you’re looking for something a little more competitive, the Wednesday night Co-ed 4v4 is a great option.

The leagues have been going strong for many years, and league management strives each year to improve the facility itself, as well as the overall experience for players. This is the first year in which teams can register and make payment completely online — and, in collaboration with Sea Bright Recreation, the league has improved court conditions; adding two courts this season for a total of six.

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SEA BRIGHT: DUNESDAY ROCKS THE BEACH

Continuing its bounceback from the walloping it took from Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright brought its can-do spirit right to the water’s edge Saturday with Dunesday, a fundraiser for the borough fire and first aid squads.

A daylong series of musical acts entertained from a stage on the beach abutting the Mad Hatter bar, with headliners Brian Kirk and the Jirks playing an electrifying set punctuated by lightning over the ocean. (Photos by Sarah Klepner, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward for redbankgreen.)

SEA BRIGHT: DUNESDAY BACK ON THE BEACH

The patio at the Mad Hatter becomes Dunesday Central for the daylong beach festival Saturday. (Photo by Colby Wilson. Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

In the months after Hurricane Sandy ripped through Sea Bright last October 29, Brian Kirk knew that keeping Dunesday in town was crucial to lifting its spirit.

But without Donovan’s Reef, which was obliterated by the storm, Kirk and his band, the Jirks, were forced to move their beachside fundraiser, now two decades old, to a new location.

“I was sad about Donovan’s from a nostalgic point of view. It was literally the first bar that hired me. It helped us become who we are,” Kirk tells redbankgreen.

“Dunesday is a brand now. It’s an individual, and it needs a home,” he said.

This year, that home is a few doors away from Donovan’s, at the Mad Hatter.

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SEA BRIGHT: MAD HATTER FINALLY RE-HATTED

The opening-night crowd at the Mad Hatter last Friday night. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

For those with an eye for irony, it may have seemed fitting that the reopening of the hurricane-inundated the Mad Hatter was saluted by periodic of rain showers.

A beloved shore bar and restaurant located in the heart of downtown Sea Bright, the Hatter has faced its fair share of hurdles on the journey back to life after being blown out by Hurricane Sandy. But finally, after a delayed fire permit held it one step short of the finish line on Thursday – its originally scheduled grand reopening – the Mad Hatter’s improvised Tiki Hut and back bar officially opened for the 2013 summer season Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

 While the rain came in spurts, the Hatter’s loyal customer base seemed to show up in droves.

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SEA BRIGHT: TENTS AND TRAILERS

Look Back Antiques is seeking permission to do business on the town’s tiny boardwalk on weekends this summer. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright business owners struggling to reopen their stores damaged by Hurricane Sandy will be allowed to operate from mobile trailers under a measure approved by the borough council this week.

And one merchant is angling for permission to sell her wares from a tent on the town’s tiny boardwalk on weekends this summer.

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SEA BRIGHT: PARTY OUT BACK

The Mad Hatter in better days, above. The owners plan to revive the tiki bar out back next week. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The people who run the Mad Hatter – a sports bar/restaurant that’s practically synonymous with downtown Sea Bright – knew they had to do something to get open.

With the borough’s first post-Sandy summer quickly approaching and their oceanside establishment still unusable, they knew that they couldn’t risk going an entire season without opening their doors for loyal locals and Shore visitors.

So they decided to improvise. Twice.

Now, after a stalled attempt to reopen under a tent on the municipal parking lot, owner Scott Kelly and his brother Michael have a plan they say will allow the Mad Hatter to come back in time for Memorial Day.

“What we’ve done is effectively turned the back of the building into the front, in a way,” Michael Kelly, the manager, told redbankgreen,

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SEA BRIGHT: MAD HATTER TO REOPEN MAY 23

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)

By WIL FULTON

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.

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MAYORAL SHOUTDOWN IN SEA BRIGHT?

hot-topic rightWhat happened on election night last week at Sea Bright’s Mad Hatter restaurant, when a former mayor met the incoming one?

According to Mayor-elect Dina Long, sparks flew after it was clear that she’d beaten former Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka Adams for the borough’s top elected position.

Long, a Democrat, says Kalaka Adams loudly berated her when Long approached to offer a post-election olive branch, prompting an incident in which at least two people had to be restrained.

According to Kalaka Adams, a Republican, nothing of the sort happened.

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CLEMONS RECALLED AS A TRUE ‘BIG MAN’

clarenceClarence Clemons, right, backs up Stormin’ Norman Seldin, behind the piano, at the Lock, Stock and Barrel in Fair Haven sometime in the late ’70s. (Photo courtesy of Norman Seldin; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He’d already soared into the music industry stratosphere alongside Bruce Springsteen when Clarence Clemons bumped into an old friend, the guy who helped get him his start in the Jersey Shore music scene, and asked if he could sit in, like old times, playing the saxophone.

The late-1970s encounter took place in Sea Bright, where Clemons had a home and was known for towing local kids around with fishing poles for some post-tour R&R.

And earlier this year, to celebrate his 69th birthday, Clemons bought a plane ticket for a longtime friend and former bandmate to fly down to Florida to sing at the party.

Clemons, who passed away Saturday from complications of a stroke, invested as much of himself in his friends and community as he did in his music, friends told redbankgreen in interviews this week, following the Big Man’s death.

Flags will be flown at half-staff throughout New Jersey in Clemons’ honor Thursday. A funeral service was held Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida.

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GOING IN FOR THE SHOT

Dozens of celebrants ran into the Atlantic surf  for the annual polar bear plunge at the Mad Hatter in Sea Bright on New Year’s Day.

Among them: redbankgreen‘s Trish Russoniello, who grabbed her point-and-shoot and went in up to her neck. Here are some of her pix.

(To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.)

DOUBLE DUNK TO START ’11

mad-hatterOne of two ocean plunges will take place at the Mad Hatter in Sea Bright Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

So you’re planning your New Year’s morning and thinking you’d like to do something stupid. Look no further.

All you have to do is decide where you’d like to execute your first questionable decision of 2011 — Sea Bright or Asbury Park.

Keeping with tradition sprouted eight years ago at Donovan’s Reef, two separate groups of locals will host New Year’s Day plunges into the Atlantic to raise money for charities.

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