Coconut Cove: 5 things you need to know
1 Coconut Cove is the latest addition to North Wildwood's collection of massive bars, having just opened this past Memorial Day weekend. It immediately became a must-see venue, completely transforming what was a sleepy bayside restaurant into a club unlike any other on the island. The three-acre property on a prime location near the city's northern entrance has a variety of different areas to eat and party, daily entertainment inside and out and everything else you could possibly want in a beach club, from boat parking to volleyball courts.
2 You know a bar's big when there's a map at the entrance. Coconut Cove is comprised of eight unique sections, from the upscale restaurant The Bay Club to the open air nightclub The Cove to the two-story Tiki House pub, with three bars and a menu of casual food items. There also is Crab Alley, The Boat Bar, the Raw Bar, the Island Grill and a gift shop, all connected by wooden walkways through the property.
3 The venue truly aims to attract every age group, with shows and a special play area to attract children, events for families and bands and DJs that bring in a crowd on weekends that ranges from age 21 to 60.
4 The best time to visit is at sunset. Its location is right on the water, and the views of the sun setting over the bay are pretty spectacular. Get there a little while beforehand and enjoy their happy hour specials, with $3 and $4 beers, $2 hot dogs and $3 hamburgers from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays.
5 The owners spared no expense in designing the bar's appearance to perfection. From the lighting out front, to the sandy dance floor inside to the signs around the bars and the T-shirts employees wear, everything is meant to transport you into a tropical island-like experience. Just like the famous beach bar Seacrets in Ocean City, Md., calls itself "Jamaica, USA," Coconut Cove's tagline is "The Caribbean is Closer Than You Think." In fact, Coconut Cove is the closest thing to Seacrets that can be found in South Jersey.
Music: Every day there are live bands playing cover songs in the afternoon or at night, with DJs in between playing everything from oldies to modern remixed hits. On a typical night, the band will play a varied line-up of energetic cover songs, followed by a DJ who might start out playing some Motown classics and transition into a series of creative club music mash-ups.
Vibe: The crowd and atmosphere changes dramatically from one night to the next, with primarily older couples and families during the week and a younger crowd as it gets closer to the weekend and later at night. Fridays and Saturdays have people who just turned 21 next to parents who have been vacationing in the Wildwoods for decades. During the day, the scene is a relaxing beach bar, and at night the laser lights come on and the music cranks.
Where: 400 West Spruce Ave., North Wildwood
Season: Memorial Day to Labor Day
Days/Hours: Noon to 3 a.m. daily
Dress code: Casual, beachwear
Demographic: All ages
Club Owners: Jimmy and Trish Mikula
Debuted: 2011, formerly Sunset Bay Restaurant
The Look: A walkway leads under a wooden sign at the entrance and into the club. The upscale restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating is to the left, its facade decorated with tropical plants. The path turns right and leads down to Crab Alley, another eating area, and The Boat Bar, a bar made to look like a docked boat. Next along the route is The Cove, the warehouse-like open area with a glass ceiling, stage, several TVs, two long bars and a sand-covered dance floor with a disco ball and lights above it. The raw bar and Island Grill is adjacent to it, and farther down the property is the Tiki House and a huge area of outdoor tables in the sand, covered by thatched roof tiki tops.
Please remember to always drink responsibly