Let’s take a trip back to a simpler time at the Jersey Shore….
NO! Not that far back!…
(Vintage Images courtesy of Free Vintage Images.com)
How about a trip back to the eighties…
Ahhh yes, we all remember – Tanning Oil instead of Sunblock, Sony Walkmans and Boom Boxes on the beach, Pac Man in the arcades, french fries without guilt…no texting, no cell phones – sound relaxing already?
Well if you spent any time in the Spring Lake/Manasquan/Belmar area, you might remember a wonderful after beach hangout called The Warren Hotel aka THE POOL BAR!
What a place! The Warren Hotel sat on the same grounds as a Bed and Breakfast/restaurant/bar called The Beach House. The Beach House on its own was wonderful with its Ocean Avenue location overlooking the beach.
The Beach House
But behind The Beach House was a Spring Lake gathering place known as “The Pool Bar”. Basically, it was the lawn of the Warren Hotel (a very old classic beach hotel). Only guests of the Warren hotel could swim in the fenced off pool but outside the fenced area was a little cabana bar with tables and chairs for the public.
Throughout my teens I was lucky enough to have a best friend whose family rented a house in Spring Lake every summer. Her mom would pick us up from school on Fridays. We would load up the car with two big dogs in the back seat and my friend, her mom and myself across the bench seat in the front of the car. (No seatbelts at that time – how did we survive?!!) On Sunday afternoons, the Pool Bar was a great family place to go before heading back home. They would have a jazz band on the big open lawn and people would just hang out, drink, eat and enjoy the music.
The Warren Hotel
Here is the fenced in area of the pool at the “Pool Bar”
(I know, I did a bad job scanning in the picture…I was just trying to cut out my friend since I did not ask her permission to put her face in my blog!)
Here is the little cabana-bar area.
(I know, another great job with the scanner…)
Then in the 90’s the Pool Bar was discovered by every young person in the area who rented a shore house for the summer. It was no longer a casual family hangout where you would swing by with wet hair in a bathing suit and cover up on the way home. It actually became a place to be seen. You would first go back to your beach house, shower and get dressed and then go to the Pool Bar for drinks. It got to the point where there were huge lines out front and – don’t quote me on this, but I think they actually started charging a cover charge! I am sure the locals in this conservative beach town, sometimes known as the “Irish Riviera” were not thrilled! It was so popular that when people had weddings at the Warren, the wedding guests would spill over from the hotel’s terraces to the Pool Bar area where the real fun took place!
Either way, I still loved the Pool Bar and have fond memories of the place. Unfortunately, with the prime location of the Warren Hotel and the Beach House, it was only a matter of time before the property was sold! It was so sad to see them tearing down these historic buildings. During their last summer, the “Pool Bar” sold t-shirts and I was sure to get a couple! I wore one once in the Caribbean and someone stopped me to talk about the Warren and Pool Bar. Such nice memories.
Now several large houses sit on that block but that lot will always be the Pool Bar to me!