After the joy of writing my last blog, reminiscing on the days of summer, I decided to give the people a little escape from the now troubling times.
As I began to brainstorm for this blog, I couldn’t help but reflect on the once riveting blogs of The Odyssey, “If College bars were like sororities.” All of 2015 consisted of those blogs, what a time in our history. Anyway, let us get back to what is important, Sea Isle City. I have mentally convinced myself the summer will be in full effect, following a groundbreaking vaccine that will hopefully be out soon. I do not know if I am just lying to myself, to keep some hope and clarity in my mental health, but I write this blog to help us envision the greatest place on earth. I expect some varying opinions when it comes to my rankings, but trust me, I know what is right. Below, I take a deep dive in to the power rankings of the Sea Isle City nightlife.
10. The Springfield Inn
Everyone hold on before you click out of this blog for lack of credibility; I am not talking about the The Carousel (see below), which is a completely separate entity from The Springfield. You will hear Delaware County Alumni over the age of 45 talk about this bar like it was the greatest thing Sea Isle had to offer. The issue with that, is we are now living in 2020 and The Springfield clearly did not stand the test of time. The only time you find yourself at The Springfield is if your parents dragged you on a Saturday to hear the Juliano Brothers perform or you accidentally stumbled in walking home from the bars. In both cases you stare at the all black walls and wooden bars drinking your ever so warm Miller Lite and pondering how you are about to Irish Exit out of there. With prime real estate in a booming shore town, I think them closing speaks for itself.
9. Oar House Pub
Here are where things get kinda interesting. While I do not want to waste much time typing up a review for a bar I have never been too, I have heard sources confirm that this could become the new La Costa. Due to La Costa closing down after the summer and the owner being that of the same as Oar House, sources close to me have confirmed the possibilities La Costa West. The sole reason that this bar makes the list is due to the hope that La Costa will live on. Sounds like it has great seafood but again I have no idea what this place entails.
8. Kix McNulty
After a day at Sunday Funday, you find yourself standing in Kix, the Beach Boys playing on full blast, and your Grandma’s retirement community doing the twist. The long walk back from Sunday Funday to some random house your staying for the weekend, your Tito’s & Lemonade brain somehow convinced you to stop into Kix. Let’s just say that the median age here is 55 and unless you want to boggy with your parents, then this is not your place to attend. However, you hold Kix in a special place as you know your parents love finishing a game of cards and getting loose to a Bruce Springsteen cover band at Kix.
7. O’Donnell’s Pour House
This is like a Clayton Kershaw curve ball here, an often times slept on bar. Now do not go crazy, this is no “spend the whole night here” type bar, but a quick change of pace. I say quick because you never stay longer than 20 minutes at The Pour House. More of a dinner and Irish acoustics kind of place which is sure to get your evening started. The Pour House serves as a great place to get a quick shot or two before entering the Ocean Drive line. It reminds you of your neighbor you have caught up with during quarantine. You chat for 20 minutes and go “that was really nice, I should talk with said neighbor again tomorrow” but you go the whole year with casual waves and no conversation. A casual stop for a nice revive is what stamps O’Donnell’s at number 7 on my list.
WHAT THE BUCK NIGHT, simply the only explanation as to why you end up at Shenanigans. A Thursday night special, that truly is incredible. With alarmingly overpriced Sea Isle beverages, Shenanigans gives you a nice glimmer of hope. With What The Buck night being $1 dollar a drink, there is no other choice for Thursday nights. However, if you end up there on another night then you would drop in any mock draft, due to character issues. A very sweaty bump and grind dance floor can flash you back to the overcrowded parties in college. Thursday nights are a nice change of pace though. Enjoy Shenanigans for one night only.
5. Henri’s Bar
Shed the cargo shorts and all white air force ones, because Henri’s gives you a little taste of Avalon in the heart of Sea Isle. Whether you are enjoying a day with the parents or pregaming Sunday Funday, a couple 302s are a sure fire hit. Be careful with their signature drink, 302s, as they are sneaky delicious and sneaky dangerous. Leaving Henri’s after a few 302s may cause you take a beach cruiser right to the abdominal as you are not paying attention to the biker gang coming full force down the street. Henri’s is the ultimate casual bar and very much a perfect pregame spot.
4. The Carousel
Now we can begin to start diving into why summer is the greatest time of the year. The Carousel is money for your 5 O’Clock, left work early on Friday beer. With some song by Amy Winehouse or Alanis Morissette playing ever so slightly in the background from an individual on the acoustic guitar, this is what the beach is all about. The sand beneath the feet and chicken fingers getting shoveled down your throat, The Carousel will always hold a special place. You are guaranteed to bump into everyone from your high school and talk about the time you almost won regions in JV basketball. The vibes here are what got you through your work week and let me tell you, it will never disappoint. We have seen the last ride of The Carousel, as it has officially closed but we must never forget a cornerstone of Sea Isle culture.
3. Dead Dog Saloon
Arguably the best bar in Sea Isle for those that get it. Just remember, not to wear your Nike Graphic T’s or your cut off high school basketball pinnies, because The Dead Dog has strict policies. Many people will argue that this bar is wildly overcrowded and difficult to get a drink, but those people are missing the point. You don’t go here to begin your night, but rather after a long day of drinking to close down the night. This is the bar you can catch yourself hugging a random stranger to the incredible vocals of Florence The Machine or Coldplay. Capping every night with Dog Days Are Over and Fix You, your eyes are sure to water a bit. Enjoy Dead Dog for what it is, a late night spot that stays open a half hour later than every bar where memories are sure to fill the room. And make sure the only thing being consumed are the iconic bent elbows. An all around A plus bar.
2. La Costa
The last two bars, were a constant back and forth but La Costa unfortunately finishes as a close second. With Polar Bear Plunge and Sunday Funday being the epicenter of Sea Isle lifestyle, La Costa plants itself firmly into Sea Isle history. Your Sundays consist of the internal debate if you can handle waking up at 5 A.M. and driving straight into work, but the answer is always laugh now cry later because Sunday Funday is one of the most magical days. As you step inside around four, you quickly throw back some Tito’s & Lemonades to make sure you are in the right mental frame for what is about to undertake. Once The Insiders step on stage, it is game over; random beach balls flying in the air, feet absolutely destroyed by broken glass, and one hit after another coming from the speakers. Arguments about which Delaware County town is better fill the air, random elbows from the crowd pierce into your bloated stomach, and again this is why you worked all week. Also do not sleep on the occasionally Saturday with Funzaluv playing on the ones and twos bringing the absolute heat. La Costa is the greatest day bar Sea Isle has to offer.
1. Ocean Drive
You may hate to believe it but there is no question that the Ocean Drive is the best bar in Sea Isle. You do not even debate going anywhere else on a Friday and Saturday night because guess what, it is sure to hit. The Ocean Drive has the best variety of any bar in Sea Isle. There is a reason this always has the longest line out of any bars, but don’t let the line fool you as it quickly moves. You start the beginning of your night standing outside at the beach bar with more space and grab some beer from the ballpark esque vendors. After a decent amount of bud lights you travel inside the steamy and jam packed dance floor for some 90s cover band to absolutely electrify the night. The Ocean Drive defines your weekend nights in Sea Isle and for that, there was no other choice for the firm number one spot.