A just-approved restaurant in Seaside Heights, New Jersey — birthplace of the rarely sober “Jersey Shore” — won’t be serving a drop of alcohol when it opens, as the famous beach town looks to shed its hard-partying past.
The new 8,000-square-foot boardwalk eatery between DuPont and Lincoln avenues was approved by the tiny borough’s planning board on Dec. 16 — sans alcohol license, NJ.com reported Tuesday.
The developer Ben Mabie — who is also helming an adjacent, 18,000-square-foot pool complex — told the outlet that he and his partners won’t apply for a liquor license for at least three years.
He said the pool section will be serving alcohol and developers didn’t want drinking to dominate the area if the restaurant did, too.
Mabie said the decision to go dry doesn’t seem to be a factor for restaurant chains looking to snap up the space, describing potential suitors as “upscale, family-friendly restaurants.”
“The consensus from many of the franchisors was that they didn’t care about the liquor license,” he told NJ.com.
The 474-acre vacation hotspot became an international spectacle thanks to the hit MTV reality TV series that followed the drunken debauchery of a cast of 20-somethings including Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.
Seaside Heights has since looked to shed its boozy image, with Mayor Anthony Vaz telling Shorebeat in 2017 that officials refused to grant the series, which filmed there from 2009 to 2012, another permit to film.
“We said no,” Vaz told the blog. “Our feeling is that they bring the wrong type of clientele in. We’re a family destination now, and we’re confident in it.”
Vaz cheered the alcohol-free restaurant.
“My big thing is to get away from that,” he told NJ.com. “And we have seen the progress of that in the last three or four years.”
The borough’s new restaurant won’t open before 2022 and the pool complex will open by this Memorial Day, NJ.com said. The two attractions will share a pier on the south end of the boardwalk.