Jersey Shore Nostalgia – The Pool Bar

Let’s take a trip back to a simpler time at the Jersey Shore.  Does anyone remember The Beach House…The Warren Hotel…or The Pool Bar?…The Beach House in Spring Lake New Jersey

Well it’s time to take a trip back to the eighties…

Ah 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 an iconic after-beach hangout called The Warren Hotel aka…THE POOL BAR!

What a place!  The historic Warren Hotel sat behind a Bed and Breakfast/restaurant called The Beach House.  The Beach House on its own was wonderful with its Ocean Avenue location overlooking the beach.  Although, the “Pool Bar” at the Warren Hotel was what we all remember…

The Beach House restaurant and bar in Spring Lake - an iconic building that used to sit on Ocean Avenue

The Iconic Pool Bar at the Warren Hotel:

Tucked 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 were permitted inside their fenced off pool area.  Everyone else was allowed to gather outside the fenced area around a tiny cabana bar known as “The Pool Bar”.

Throughout my teens, my best friend’s family rented a house in Spring Lake every summer.  Beginning Memorial Day weekend, my friend’s mom would pick us up from school on Fridays.  Then we’d 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.  What can I say, it was the 80s!  Before heading home on Sunday afternoons, we would stop for an afternoon snack at the Pool Bar.  In those days, the Warren Hotel had a jazz band play on the big open lawn while people would just hang out, drink, eat and enjoy the music.

Warren Hotel in Spring Lake


Here is the fenced in area of the pool at the “Pool Bar”

Here is the little cabana-bar area.

Then in the 90’s, every young person in the area who rented a shore house for the summer discovered the Pool Bar.  At that point, the Pool Bar was no longer a casual family hangout.  Instead of being a place where you would swing by with wet hair, in a bathing suit cover up on the way home, it actually became a place to be seen.

First, you would first go back to your beach house, shower and get dressed and then go to the Pool Bar for drinks.  Before long, there were huge lines out front and  – don’t quote me on this, but I think they actually started charging a cover!  I’m sure the locals in this conservative beach town, sometimes known as the “Irish Riviera” were not thrilled!  The Pool Bar became so popular that when people had weddings at the Warren Hotel, 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 they sold the property!  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!  Once while vacationing in the Caribbean, someone spotted me wearing the t-shirt and stopped me to talk about the Warren Hotel 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!  Spring Lake still remains one of my favorite beach towns on the Jersey Shore.  Each year, I try to attend at least one of their home tour events.  The Spring Lake Garden Tour was one of my favorites!

Does anyone out there remember The Warren Hotel and The Pool Bar? 

Be sure to share your memories below in the comments!

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Beach House and Pool Bar in Spring Lake New Jersey


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

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    1. Ha! Can’t say I remember finding that but it wouldn’t surprise me! Great memories, right?

  7. Is there a way I could get copies of the pictures posted. Just bought a house down there and wanted to hang some of the pictures to remember my time at the beach house. Thanks

    1. Wasn’t the beach house the best? I’ll see if I can find my original photos that don’t have my logo on them.

  8. Thank you so much for this! I worked at the Warren Hotel from 1988 to 1992- so many characters- so many memories- it was always chaotic and never boring! I remember one of the cooks used to tease me every time I went into the kitchen- I think that may have been Freddie! I remember bellhopping in the days before rolly luggage- operating the elevator with the grate- and my favorite- operating the switchboard! Did you know we had a Lucille Ball-era swithboard well into the 1990’s? I remember the pool bar and Joe Finn and all the weddings- we used to rate the bridesmaid dresses- so much seafoam- so many ruffles. Seeing this post made me irrationally emotional- can’t believe it was so long ago- I feel lucky that I got to work there when I did. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories! Yes, you were so lucky that you got to work there…Love the switchboard comment! Things sure are different now! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Love seeing all the posts from people that worked here. I was looking it up to reminisce on my old jobs here as well during the late 90’s, early 2000’s. I worked here for a few years in the summers. I was a waiter in the hotel for weddings and events. I was a waiter at the Beach House and I bartended and lifeguarded at the Pool Bar. I had a job in every corner of that place just about. Was so sad it was demolished. I liked the Longs who owned the place and it’s a shame they sold to developers. It was a special place. I would love to get my hands on some of those shirts!

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories, Mike! So much fun to look back! For more Spring Lake nostalgia, check out the Spring Lake Historical Society page on Facebook. They post old pictures all the time! I think you’d enjoy it. Thanks for your comment!

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