CELEBRATING LBI'S SPIRIT OF YOUTH WITH BIRD & BETTY'S THIS SUMMER

We have some big news that our Old Causeway people will be pretty excited about.

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There was a time when young people used to rent all the little bungalows in Beach Haven. They were up early for dawn patrol at Holyoke Ave. They worked the local restaurants and docks and spun the new records that came out that year. Folks ate oysters and watched the sun set. 

 And at night they would line up to get into Beach Haven’s night spots like the Acme Hotel… laughing, reliving the day’s tuna trip or a session at Free Spirit Skate Park. 

 Girls in tube tops and flared pants danced with the bearded dudes in tanks as the band rocked. It was energized. It was long hair. It was beach parties. It was youth culture. They reveled until last call and kept the party going. And they were up the next day to do it all over again.

 They were burning the candles at both ends without a care. 

Even if that was before your time (or your memory is a little hazy) we have a special place in our hearts for the 1960s and 70s on Long Beach Island and that’s been the inspiration for our newest project. 

This May, we will unveil Bird and Betty’s, our reimagined throwback to another time.

Ray ‘Raisin’ Defrehn, Holyoke Ave, Beach Haven, 1971. Photo: John Ker.

Ray ‘Raisin’ Defrehn, Holyoke Ave, Beach Haven, 1971. Photo: John Ker.

Yes, the news is official. Our Tide Table group recently purchased the Ketch, just across Dock Road from Parker’s Garage & Oyster House, and we’re very excited. 

 “We are all very excited about this new project, which will emphasize fun,” says co-owner Melanie Magaziner, “We want to create something everyone will love focusing on the new deck and outdoor space, which will be built next winter. But we want to start setting the tone this summer by bringing great bands to the stage.”

Bird & Betty’s will be a bit more of a party spot than the Old Causeway, but our bar manager, Filemon Alaba (you know him as Fil) will be lending some of his time and expertise to the new venture with Black Whale bar manager, Kurt Gilfillan. So even if you’re just going down for oysters at sunset or dinner, we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy it. And who knows, maybe you stay a little later? Plus, we will have spots to dock and dine for our Beach Haven West friends.

Clarence Clemons rocks the Acme. Photo: Ray Fisk.

Clarence Clemons rocks the Acme. Photo: Ray Fisk.

 Whereas the adjacent Parker’s Garage celebrates the baymen and Victorian Golden Age of Beach Haven, Betty and Bird’s is a throwback to the exciting summer days and nights of youth that would come 50 years later. Innovative dishes, fresh seafood and creatively crafted drinks that we’re known for meets unique retro style. Think inventive night spot and an elevated menu where you can still wear your old slaps.

 And yes, we plan to keep Teen Night. All of our businesses are about maintaining tradition and Bird and Betty’s should be no different. But we’re also all about quality and we plan to provide a safe environment with music, creativity and worthwhile entertainment that continues to celebrate the culture of Beach Haven. It’s a teen night that a parent can be comfortable with.

 The historic building was the Acme Hotel in the early part of the 1900s, said to be the oldest tavern on LBI. Betty and Bird Clutter purchased it in 1956 and Bird remembers a secret trap door where alcohol was covertly moved in during the Prohibition era. According to local historian, John Lloyd, it attracted an energized crowd who came for the excitement of LBI nights and live music. We’ve already found Ray Fisk’s photos of Clarence Clemons and band on stage.

 Bird and Betty’s will be the Island’s newest night spot, featuring bands and multiple bars, both inside and out. The menu will include many favorites from across the Tide Table Group’s menus - the freshest seafood, creative sides and veggies, plus artisanal pizza.

The early morning clam haul, late 1970s.

The early morning clam haul, late 1970s.

 We’re eyeing a May 9 opening for Bird & Betty’s.  We’ve got some bigger plans for the building for summer 2020, but we’ve got our hands full at the moment getting the look, feel, sound and tastes we envision. We’re looking forward to fresh oysters on the deck, partnerships, some awesome bands and a whole lot of fun nights this summer.

Sleep when you’re dead.

Jenna Johnson