Jersey Shore Nostalgia – The Pool Bar

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

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.

Warren Hotel in Spring Lake

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!

Does anyone out there remember the Pool Bar? 



  1. Coastalpines
    January 5, 2011 / 5:49 pm

    This is great! I don't remember that place, but I may not have been at the see and be seen stage in life! I grew up in Howell and we had family in Sea Girt and would swim in Spring Lakes saltwater pool @ the north end and take endless bike rides through town looking at the grand homes. But mostly we spent our time in Manasquans Sea Watch Beach. When I did reach the *party* age it was the Parker House, the Columns in Avon and Leggetts and the Osprey in Squan. Those were the days! Now we spend most of our time in Lavallette, Ortley & Normandy beaches and occasionally Seaside (when we have a sitter…)Love your beach memories (and vintage tees), keep them coming!

  2. CalypsoInTheCountry
    January 6, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    Ahhh yes – the Parker House!…another Jersey Shore classic!

  3. Carmie of the Single Nester
    January 10, 2011 / 10:20 pm

    Oh my gosh! Memories! I so remember everything. I rented shore homes in LBI, Sea Girt, Bradley Beach and Belmar. Those were the days . . .

  4. Anonymous
    January 19, 2011 / 10:38 pm

    Was looking for a photo to show a friend the Beach House/Warren Hotel, and found your photos…I worked at the Beach House in the summers from 1982-1988, as a dishwasher, prep cook, host, manager, etc…My brother and sister worked there as well. Some of my fondest memories – so many friends made there…it was such a great location, great clientele, great fun! Do you recall Freddie the cook, who ran the grill at the Pool Bar? Lots of memories… probably one of the saddest days when they tore the Beach House/Warren Hotel/Pool Bar down… When I pass by now, I flip "the bird" to all of the beautiful homes there now…Steve

  5. CalypsoInTheCountry
    January 19, 2011 / 11:58 pm

    Steve – Too funny! No, I don't remember Freddie the cook. That is great that you worked there all those years – I am sure I must have bumped into you at some point! What great places they were! I hope I was accurate with all the details and was able to do them justice with my descriptions!

  6. Anonymous
    May 23, 2012 / 2:35 am

    I remember Freddie. Freddie was actually a cook inside the hotel and occasionally worked outside. He came up from Georgia along with much of the staff to work during the summers. He actually worked at the time (he may still do) at Augusta. The pool bar was run by all locals, and it did eventually become a place to be seen. I was a bell-hop at age 16 and eventually worked in the dinning room for Alex and Irma before moving outside to the pool bar. My sister was one of the original waitresses out there. The band that use to play (name escapes me) were pretty famous, and use to play Phantom of the Opera most Sundays. Mr. Finn use to play all the time too (Green Aligators…etc.). Sad that those places are gone now.

  7. Unknown
    July 15, 2018 / 11:44 pm

    I know this is an old post. I used to go with my family. Mu cousins bartended. I would dance with my grandmother to Mr. Finn! Id love to lnow if you still have shirts and can send me pics of ftonts and back,as i want to have reunion party and print them up oldschool for gifts? Its a shame only the parker house snd columns remain. The last of the great jersey shore bsrs

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