Support Ocean City Area Businesses From Your Home

With Mayor Gillian’s administrative order to stay off the beach and boardwalk and Governor Murphy’s executive order to stay home in effect, you may wonder what to do to occupy your time. Besides the options listed in the previous article on OCNJ Happenings, you can use the time to support local businesses and enjoy Ocean City food and products.

Here are some ways to reach local businesses in Ocean City (and the mainland) from your home:

  • Buy a gift card from Tuckahoe Inn (20% off from noon-3 p.m. today, March 26).
  • Be one of the first Ocean City residents to try a seafood steam pot from Topsail Steamer; Although the new Ocean City location grand opening is postponed, you can order a steam pot delivered to your door from Goldbelly with free shipping.
  • Order food delivery from one or more of the following Ocean City restaurants:
  • Have fresh coffee beans shipped to your door by Ocean City Coffee Company
  • Rauhauser’s offers Ocean City delivery and will ship to anywhere in the U.S.
  • Shop Seagrass Boutique clothing and accessories online
  • The Road offers door-to-door delivery in Ocean City

With these previously mentioned ways to buy local and have food and products delivered to your door, you can support the local community while staying at home and helping to flatten the curve.

What to Do When Staying at Home in Ocean City

With Governor Murphy’s “stay at home” executive order in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, individuals might wonder how to get through each day with positivity and not get overwhelmed. Fortunately, technology allows us to reach others in different homes, including locally, in other states, and across the globe. It also opens up a world of activities to help us through this necessary order to stay at home and flatten the curve.

Here are some activities to take part in at home which the whole family will love:

Online Yoga Classes with Suzanne Chew of Yoga Ginger

Suzanne Chew, owner and lead instructor of Yoga Ginger in Ocean City, is posting online yoga videos to help your mind, body, and soul. Visit the Patreon website and get started with the relaxing classes offered by Suzanne.

Paint Jams and Coloring Pages from Peace of Wood

For those who love to create, Peace of Wood is offering live daily paint jams at noon on Instagram, Monday-Friday, and coloring pages for download every Friday. If you miss the live paint jams, you can still paint on your own schedule. Simply visit the Peace of Wood Facebook page for details.

Digital Offerings from the Ocean City Free Public Library

If you just need some time to sit back quietly and read a good book or watch a movie, the digital library at Ocean City Free Public Library offers plenty of options. Check out the digital content section and see what piques your interest. You’ll find tons of options for adults and kids to enjoy.

Learn About Immune Boosting Foods from Conscious Cooks

Conscious Cooks is a South Jersey culinary company that offers cooking classes and culinary services for individuals and groups in the area. They also provide interesting content on food topics and recipes, such as their latest blog article on immune-boosting foods and a recipe for anti-inflammatory ginger tea!

Virtual Cabaret with the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company

The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company is also helping us get through each day with a smile by offering its virtual cabaret. Held on certain days throughout the week, you can view a special guest performer online and keep music in your life. The next virtual cabaret is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, and will feature Andrew Pace. Find all the details on the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company Instagram page and tune in on March 26!

Wishing you all well!

 

Ocean City Closings and City Preparedness in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Additional information has just been released regarding the response to the coronavirus outbreak. Mayor Gillian has released details regarding the city’s response and changes pertaining to closings and cancellations going forward. Here are the finer details as outlined by Mayor Gillian:

Closed starting March 17:

  • Ocean City Community Center, which includes the Ocean City Free Public Library, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Arts Center, Historical Museum, and Senior Center
  • Ocean City Sports and Civic Center plus other city facilities
  • All Recreation Department programs suspended (until further notice)
  • Ocean City schools

Canceled:

  • OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show
  • Girls Weekend
  • Great Egg Hunts and all other Easter events, including the Easter Sunrise Service
  • Doo Dah Parade
  • Mr. Mature America Pageant
  • Sports Memorabilia Show
  • All other shows/events through the end of April

Postponed:

  • Public meetings of boards and commissions, excluding City Council

City Hall and the Knight Building will stay open but with limited public access. Call City Hall for further details if you need city services.

What’s Open, What’s Closed in Ocean City Amid COVID-19 Concerns

*UPDATE: Gov. Murphy states all New Jersey bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and casinos to close at 8 p.m. tonight, March 16. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and gas stations, can stay open past 8 p.m. Non-essential businesses must close by 8 p.m. daily. Restaurants can offer takeout/delivery services.

As COVID-19 concerns and cases grow, government officials, business owners, organizations, and individuals are taking necessary precautions to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some institutions are being instructed by the government to close, while others are taking the initiative to close their doors to help stop the spread of the virus. On the other hand, businesses are keeping their doors open so that individuals can have access to food and other items.

*Updated 3/17*

Here’s a list of some current businesses and entities in Ocean City that are open, closed, or canceling/postponing events:

Open:

Closed/Canceled/Postponed:

Event Cancellations:

  • OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show
  • Girls Weekend
  • Great Egg Hunts and all other Easter events, including the Easter Sunrise Service
  • Doo Dah Parade
  • Mr. Mature America Pageant
  • Sports Memorabilia Show
  • All other shows/events through the end of April

This is just a starter list and includes some of the openings/closings/cancellations. The list will be updated on a continual basis as changes are noted. The best bet is to always call prior to heading to your favorite Ocean City shop or restaurant to make sure hours of operation haven’t recently changed. And please feel free to add additions in the comments below.

Most importantly, thank you to all who are helping the public during this uncertain time (and always), including first responders, medical professionals, shop/restaurant owners and employees, and others who are lending a hand overall. Be safe and stay well, Ocean City friends!

 

Opening Soon: Topsail Steamer in Ocean City

Starting the weekend of March 28-29, you’ll be able to indulge in the seafood delicacies of Topsail Steamer!

This new spot will open its doors at 3363 West Avenue at the end of March and offer a seafood selection served up in a unique way. Topsail Steamer sells freshly prepared steamer pots filled with your choice of ingredients. Select your favorite steam pot items for your seafood boil and the Topsail Steamer team will put it together for you within a matter of minutes. Once it’s ready to go, you’ll take the one-use steamer pot home with you, or to any other steam pot spot, and cook up the items for friends and family members to enjoy!

Originating in North Carolina, Topsail Steamer has two locations already in operation, one in Surf City and the other in Wrightsville Beach. This will be the third Topsail Steamer location and the first one in New Jersey.

Topsail Steamer Meal

Ready to learn more about Topsail Steamer? Here’s how it works: You can choose one of the seven Signature Bay Buckets® or build your own seafood bucket with a combination of choices including seafood, andouille sausage, or kielbasa for the ideal seafood boil. You’ll then select your size, the High Tider® (serves 4-5) or the Low Tider® (serves 2-3), and your desired seasoning from the following list of options: Classic, Cajun, Herb Blend, or Jimmy’s Way (a blend of Classic and Cajun spices). Once you have your steam pot prepared, you’ll receive easy-to-follow steaming instructions and you’re on your way to a savory seafood meal!

You can visit the location to get your order in motion or order in advance online. And, if your mouth is watering thinking about these fresh seafood steamer pots and you’re not in the local area, don’t worry, you can have a Topsail Steamer pot delivered to your door! This store-to-door service is all thanks to the Goldbelly delivery service!

Get ready for some new sensational seafood options, Ocean City, and welcome the Topsail Steamer team to the island this month!

Photo credit: Topsail Steamer

 

 

Sign Up Today: Ocean City 2020 Pi Day Run

On your mark, get set, and go register for the 2020 Pi Day 5K/Kid’s Race on Saturday, March 14, sponsored by the Ocean City Education Association PRIDE in Public Education.

Students, family members, and others in the community are invited to take part in this exciting day featuring a mathematical theme. The fun begins with a 5K race/1-mile run at 9 a.m. kicking off at the Ocean City Community Center. Participants will start at 18 Street and Haven Avenue and run along the bike path while completing the mileage course of their choosing.

Event organizers have a goal of 314 participants in mind, in keeping with the Pi theme of the day. The cost to participate is $10 per student and $15 per adult. Pre-registration is taking place until March 6. After that time, registration will be available on the day of the event. As an added bonus, the first 314 individuals to register will receive a commemorative “We Rocked Pi Day 2020” t-shirt.

Medals will be awarded to the top three males and females in each age group. And, once the race is over, the fun doesn’t stop there! Head over to the Ocean City Intermediate School for the Ocean City PTA Spring Fair from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. where you can enjoy refreshments, activities, and even the opportunity to pie a teacher who is taking one for the team for the sake of education.

Don’t miss out on this fun day with the entire family! Register today for the race and be sure to attend the Ocean City PTA Spring Fair festivities after the event. Find more information and updates by visiting the 2020 Pi Day Facebook event page.

New Businesses to Open Soon in Ocean City

Every year, new businesses pop up in Ocean City, to the delight of locals and tourists alike. From new dining options to shopping spots galore, there’s always something new and exciting in the works in Ocean City. Here’s what’s coming to town soon:

DriftSpaces

With the number of remote workers increasing, coworking spaces are becoming even more popular. Fortunately, soon-to-open DriftSpaces on the second floor of 956 Asbury Avenue will meet the demand of telecommuters who want a collaborative working environment where they can get the job done in a productive workspace. DriftSpaces plans to open on March 6 for tours and they’ll be accepting ten launch members to be the first to put the DriftSpaces workspace to good use! 

Pork Island Grill

As announced back in November, Pork Island Grill will be opening its doors at the corner of 34th Street and Asbury Avenue. Once open, you can expect delicious BBQ culinary items of a wide array, from smoked brisket to flavorful ribs and so much more. The restaurant is still on track for a grand opening in the beginning of April. In the meantime, check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for some photos of what you’ll soon be able to enjoy at Pork Island Grill. And, if you’re looking for employment in the restaurant industry, Pork Island Grill is hiring.

Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ron Jon Surf Shop will be opening its second New Jersey location, this one in Ocean City. With an opening date still TBD, we do know that the new location will be situated at the corner of 8th Street and Asbury Avenue. Ron Jon Surf Shop has its flagship location in Ship Bottom, New Jersey, as well as other retail locations along the East Coast. The new Ocean City store will sell surfboards, clothing, accessories, and other items found at Ron Jon Surf Shop locations throughout the U.S.

These are just three of the upcoming openings we can expect in the coming months, and there are certain to be more on the horizon!

SoBar: Pop-Up Parties in a Sober Environment

When you’re looking for entertainment options and the opportunity to meet new people, where do you go? The bars and clubs are good options, but not always viable ones for people who don’t drink, either by choice or necessity, or simply don’t want to socialize in those types of establishments. Fortunately for Ocean City residents and visitors, a new option has emerged, thanks to the ingenious efforts of local resident Ashley Crooks.

As a licensed therapist and owner of Counseling by the Sea, Ashley came up with the idea to create a sober socializing experience and opportunity for those who wanted to enjoy a night out without alcohol being a factor. As a result, the concept of soBar was born!

SoBar Inaugural Event

SoBar comes in the form of a monthly pop-up party at different locations in Ocean City and surrounding towns. The inaugural soBar event recently took place at Jon & Patty’s on February 19. For a $10 cover charge, guests enjoyed the sounds of live music from Originaire and food and mocktails created by the team at Jon & Patty’s. As for upcoming soBar pop-ups, two are on the schedule and include:

“As someone who doesn’t drink, and who works with a ton of people who struggle with social anxiety as well as don’t drink, I wanted to provide a safe space for people to enjoy a night out, meet new people, and have fun without alcohol,” states Ashley. “I also wanted to expand on the movement of overall wellness and wellbeing in learning how to have fun without mood-altering substances.”

And soBar is for everyone. You don’t have to be living an exclusively sober life to take part in all that soBar has to offer. It’s just requested that you come to the events sober and enjoy this alcohol-free experience.

soBar is hoping to turn the pop-up experience into a permanent location. But, for now, follow the soBar event calendar via the website or Facebook page and see what new events pop up each month and where they’ll be held.

Take conversation and entertainment to a whole new level. Attend an upcoming soBar event and see what a night out without the alcohol holds for you.

Photo credit: soBar

Don’t Miss the Market Madness Shopping Event at The Flanders Hotel on March 7

On Saturday, March 7, over 40 vendors from Ocean City will fill The Flanders Hotel, offering their must-have products for sale.

The Market Madness event is hosted by the Boardwalk Merchants Association and Downtown Merchants Association and will take place from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. From your favorite Asbury Avenue shop to your go-to boardwalk vendor, you’ll find something for everyone at Market Madness. Store owners will be selling their products as well as offering discounts and deals you won’t want to miss.

Free parking is yours for the taking, and food will be available for purchase when you need to recharge during your shopping spree.

Gather your friends together and head over to The Flanders Hotel on March 7 for this not-to-be-missed event!

Save the Date: Girls Weekend 2020 in Downtown Ocean City

With only 100 days left to go until Memorial Day, it’s a good time to talk about springtime Ocean City events. One popular event that brings in the crowds each year is the Girls Weekend event. This year’s Girls Weekend will unfold April 3–5 and include offerings such as a fashion show, shopping deals, hotel packages, dining options, and more.

Here are some events being held during Girls Weekend 2020:

Fashion Show Kickoff Event (April 3)

The Girls Weekend Fashion Show has been so popular in prior years that it’s being moved to a new, larger location this year. Purchase your tickets and reserve a seat for the fashion show taking place at PLAAY Fitness and Yoga at 910 Asbury Avenue. The show will start at 7 p.m. and feature a display of fashions available at local Ocean City boutiques.

The cost is $20 per person and includes light bites offered by local restaurants during the event. Tickets are required to attend, and this show sells out each year, so be sure to get your tickets early. Tickets can be purchased online and at various area locations, including the Route 52 Causeway Welcome Center, City Hall Welcome Center, Ta-Dah (1040 Asbury Ave.), Making Waves (836 Asbury Ave.), 7th Street Surf Shop (720 Asbury Ave.), and the Sneaker Shop (704 Asbury Ave.).

Accommodation Deals and Packages for Girls Weekend 2020

Many local hotels and B&Bs will offer special deals and lodging packages for Girls Weekend 2020. Here are some of the latest deals being offered:

  • The Flanders Hotel: Reserve a stay for the night of Friday, April 3, or Saturday, April 4, and receive the following: early check-in with complimentary gift upon arrival; overnight stay in a deluxe one-bedroom suite; a 30-minute leg and foot massage or 30-minute mini-facial with free product samples from Divine Images Salon and Spa; a coupon for 10% off at The Shoppes at Flanders; breakfast in Emily’s Ocean Room; and, late check-out. The cost is $169 per person plus tax and gratuity (cost based on double occupancy).
  • Port-O-Call: Enjoy a two-night stay at the Port-O-Call for Girls Weekend 2020. The package includes two-night deluxe accommodations, dinner at a local restaurant, breakfast both mornings at Adelene, and your choice of a relaxing spa service including a 25-minute facial provided by a local salon, 25-minute massage by Blue Garden Wellness (6th floor of the hotel), or manicure or mini-pedicure provided by a local salon. Prices start at $295 per person (based on double occupancy; includes taxes and hotel dining gratuity).
  • Northwood Inn Bed and Breakfast: Stay for two nights and get the second night 50% off. Plus, enjoy complimentary pizza and drinks on Friday night.
  • Biscayne Suites: Enjoy two nights of accommodations for $239 plus tax and you’ll also have access to a late 6 p.m. checkout, so you can fully take advantage of the entire weekend. Just mention “Girls Weekend” when calling for reservations.
  • Inn the Gardens Bed and Breakfast: Book your Girls Weekend stay and you’ll get $25 off the second night at Inn the Gardens Bed and Breakfast.
  • Ocean City Mansion: Book your April 3–5 stay and receive two complimentary beach tags for the summer of 2020. Just mention “Girls Weekend” when calling to reserve your room.
  • Impala Island Inn: Stay at the Impala Island Inn for $160 for the weekend, plus tax. Just mention “Girls Weekend” to snag this deal!
  • Wild Dunes Inn: Book a weekend stay at the Wild Dunes Inn for $190 for the weekend, plus tax. You’ll be able to get this deal when you mention “Girls Weekend” when reserving.

Shopping Deals, Exercise Classes, and More!

Besides the Girls Weekend Fashion Show and fabulous lodging deals, Girls Weekend 2020 attendees will enjoy extraordinary sales at local shops and boutiques, dining specials at local restaurants, exercise classes, spa specials, craft projects and demos, and so much more!

Keep checking back to OCNJ Happenings Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for additional information as Girls Weekend 2020 draws closer and make your reservations today!