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LBI’s mostly downscale roster of hostel-ries, the 22-room Daddy O—located one
block from the ocean—fills the bill for visitors looking for a more extravagant escape.
Pampering is key. Complimentary beach
badges, chairs and towels, as well as outdoor showers and changing rooms, allow
guests to maximize their fun in the sun.
Daddy O’s rooftop O Bar, with its
breathtaking sunset view and tropical
decor, is a magnet for the cocktail crowd.
Vintage ’50s-style photographs line the
staircase to the rooftop, where happy-hour revelers sip 18 Mile Runs (a souped-up rum punch; $12) and Repo Margaritas
(a cocktail with barrel-aged Patron Re-posado; $11). Munchies include seasonally
changing bar bites and a full sushi menu.
To keep the mood going after happy hour,
Daddy O presents local live-music acts
Wednesday through Saturday all summer.
Last summer, Daddy O also introduced its
Garden Bar, featuring sushi and fresh-caught seafood from Viking Village, just
up the road in Barnegat Light.
Despite the influx of creative kitchens
and beer menus popping up around the
island, many LBI visitors opt for the tried
and true. That might mean Mustache
Bill’s Diner (8th Street and Broadway,
Barnegat Light) or Scojo’s (307 N. Long
Beach Boulevard, Surf City) for breakfast
and lunch; Sandbox Café (2604 Long
Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom), for casual,
outdoor dining; Buckalew’s ( 101 N. Bay
Avenue, Beach Haven) or Tucker’s ( 101
S. West Avenue, Beach Haven) for tavern
fare; and, of course, the Chicken or the
Egg (207 N. Bay Avenue, Beach Haven), for
after-hours gorging and gossip.
Ice cream on LBI has long been synonymous with Skipper Dipper (9305 Long
Beach Boulevard, Beach Haven) an institution since 1978. While lines still form for
Skipper Dipper’s smile-inducing hard- and
soft-serve cones, Manhattanites Tim and
Tracy Donovan put a new spin on the LBI
dessert scene last summer with
POPularity Pops (216 S. Bay Avenue, Beach Haven),
a gelato and sorbetto popsicle parlor.
“We always had some sort of ice
cream idea, but we didn’t want it to just
be fro-yo,” says Tracy. “We researched
the gelato process and equipment. In Eu-
rope, popsicles are big, and here was this
product that was completely unique and
different.” Flavors run from fruit sorbet-
tos to pretzel-dusted, chocolate-drizzled,
POPularity’s selfie wall is another cool
concept. Customers pose with their pops
in front of the polka-dot wall and share
their photos on POPularity’s Instagram
and Facebook feeds. Tracy says it’s a great
way “to build POPularity’s brand.”
Yes, social-media branding has come to
LBI. Yet for those who frequent the island,
the LBI brand can be summed up in a
single word: relax. ;
Christina Colizza is a former New Jersey
Monthly research assistant.