Residents of Long Beach Island know the history behind 592 Dock Road in Beach Haven. The address first served as the Acme Hotel in the early 1900s; thought to be LBI’s earliest tavern, the spot became popular during the Prohibition era. After that, The Ketch Restaurant & Bar lasted for more than 30 years in the historic building. Now, after almost three years of negotiations, the space is home to Bird and Betty’s.
The Acme Hotel was famously known as a favorite stomping ground of baseball legend Babe Ruth; however, the owners behind Bird & Betty’s plan to attract a new generation of guests. The new restaurant, open since May, emphasizes fun, aiming to create something people will love. With that in mind, when you visit you’ll find a mix of vintage style and modern innovation. It’s a nostalgic reboot of sorts, hoping to introduce the forgotten fun of decades past to a younger audience.
Particularly, the atmosphere evokes the 1960s and 1970s. “You’ll find mid-century modern and ’70s vintage style furniture paired with games like skee ball, foosball, ping pong and shuffleboard,” says co-owner Melanie Magaziner. “The night club is reminiscent of Studio 54’s eccentric glamour with a gold disco ball and a specially designed light and sound system. Tables are set with gold linen, vintage plates and colorful goblets. The outside deck and lounge overlooking the bay is handpicked, original ’70s rattan and vibrant yellows.”
Live Music at Bird and Betty’s
The spot focuses on live music, from touring and upcoming acts to favorite LBI bands. Bands include G. Love, Tunnel Vision, Work in Progress, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Remember Jones, says Magaziner.
Bird and Betty’s features “Teen Nights” for under 21 locals and visitors, with safety precautions parents can be comfortable with. “Added security and personnel allow for a more efficient entry and a more supervised environment,” says Magaziner. “Food and beverage is more readily available. And the music is what every teen dreams of so he can dance the night away.”
A Modern Menu
The menu reimagines pub fare, with seafood dishes like oyster carbonara, branzino with fingerling potatoes, or roasted scallops with cauliflower. Standout artisan pizzas include margherita (fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil) and fennel (spicy sausage, fennel and black olives). They also have unique salads and sandwiches; for example, the acorn squash with pickled onion salad. Then there’s the roasted mushrooms and mozzarella sandwich (mixed mushrooms and onion jam on focaccia).
In the summer months, specifically July and August, they plan to offer brunch on the bay. “We’re targeting diners of all ages,” says Magaziner. “Beach Haven is a vacation town, but we’ll be open long enough for the locals to get their time in.”
Meanwhile, the restaurant has a mix of cocktails and craft beers. One highlight is their “day drinking” menu that includes an elderflower gin 7 tonic and rosé all day.
Bird & Betty’s is the latest restaurant from the Tide Table Group; their other Ocean County restaurants include Mud City Crab House and Old Causeway Steak & Oyster, both in Stafford; In addition, they own Ship Bottom Shellfish. Finally, Parker’s Garage & Oyster Saloon and Black Whale Bar & Fish House round out their current Beach Haven trio. Despite all of these establishments, Bird & Betty’s is their first foray into nightlife.
Feature (Top) Image: © Mark Tesi Togetherness Agency
Additional Photos (in Order) Courtesy:
Anne Coen Photography
Mark Tesi Togetherness Agency