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:



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



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:


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!

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!

Valentine’s Day Shopping and Dining Options In and Around Ocean City

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the special people in your life. From romantic interests to family and friends, you can spend this love-themed day with anyone you choose. If you’re looking for some ideas as to gifts and dinner plans, here are a few options to get you started:

Local Shopping Spots for Your Valentine’s Day Gift Needs

Red Rose, Red Rose Bouquet, Valentine'S

Whether you’re searching for Valentine’s Day candy or prefer a gift that can be cherished for years to come, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in Ocean City. When on the lookout for handmade chocolates and candies, Rauhauser’s and Shriver’s are ideal stores to visit. Indulgent chocolates, heart-themed candies, and sensational sweets with lovely sentiments written on them can all be found at these Ocean City shops.

If jewelry is on your shopping list, Henry’s is a wonderful spot to visit. From eye-catching fine jewelry to more casual pieces, no matter what type of accessory your loved one craves, you’ll be able to find it at Henry’s. If you need a starting point, the Pandora Free Heart Bracelet gift set is a potential gift item to consider.

Gift certificates are also a welcome option for any holiday. If you want to gift your beloved fishing aficionado with an experience they are sure to enjoy, a gift certificate from Ocean City Fishing Center will be a hit. Gift certificates are available in any denomination and can be used for fishing trips, boat rentals, or store merchandise.

If you’re still brainstorming ideas regarding what to buy your Valentine this year, the best way to explore the options is by strolling along Asbury Avenue. Some stores you can visit for your Valentine’s Day purchases include She’z the Boss, We Make It Personal, Stainton’s, Peace of Wood, Spinning Wheel Florist, Seagrass Boutique, B&B, and more!

Valentine’s Day Dining Destinations

Love, Valentine, Valentines Day, Valentines Day Table

Now that you have the gifts covered, the next step is planning where to eat if you want to dine out on this special day. Here are some restaurants in the local area where you can enjoy Valentine’s Day dining:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Spots to Visit for Your Last-Minute Super Bowl Items in Ocean City

Today’s a special day. Not only did our furry friend Punxsutawney Phil not see his shadow, pointing towards an early spring, but it’s also a palindrome day, meaning the date reads the same when forwards and backwards. Certain to be even more celebrated on this special day is the fact that it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Now, I know many of us are a little sad that the Philadelphia Eagles won’t be taking the field but it would be cool to see former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid take home a Super Bowl win.

Whatever team you’re rooting for today, make sure your Super Bowl watch party has all the essentials needed to make it an unforgettable party. Here are some spots to pick up last-minute items for the Super Bowl festivities:

Bennie’s Bread

Bennie’s Bread has been cooking up some delicious game day items for you and your party guests to indulge in. Whether you want cold appetizers or hot light bites for your crowd, Bennie’s is the place to go. Here are some items waiting for you at Bennie’s Bread:

  • San Francisco sourdough bread
  • Kansas City ribs
  • Stuffed bread platter
  • Buffalo wings and chicken tenders
  • Jumbo shrimp cocktail
  • Fried mozzarella
  • Tomato pie
  • Italian desserts
  • And more!

Whether you’re feeding a small group of Super Bowl guests or prepping for a large party, Bennie’s Bread has you covered!


With over 90 different vendors to choose from, Stainton’s takes one-stop shopping to a whole new level. Visit Stainton’s for game day dips and mixes, Hank sauce, football-themed serving trays, and game day clothing and accessories. Whether you’re throwing the party or attending one, Stainton’s has the ideal party prep products and hostess/host gift items for you.

Hoy’s 5&10

Hoy’s 5&10 is known for its impressive array of beach-centric items during summer, but did you know this year-round store is also your go-to spot for tons of other things as well? Stop by Hoy’s 5&10 at 732 Asbury Avenue for your last-minute Super Bowl party decorations and tableware. Stock up on plates, napkins, cups, decorations, or any other items you may still need to make Super Bowl Sunday spectacular.

Circle Liquors

Don’t forget to prep for your game day cocktails and stop by Circle Liquor Store over the 9th Street bridge in Somers Point. Circle Liquors has all of your beverage necessities in stock, including domestic and imported beer, craft beer from the local area and beyond, wine, spirits, soda, and more. You can also grab some bags of your favorite snacks while you’re there.

Boulevard Liquors

Boulevard Super Liquors also has all of your drink necessities in one convenient location. Head over the 34th Street bridge and visit this Marmora store for an impressive craft beer selection, domestic and imported brews, wines from the local vicinity and abroad, spirits and mixers, and other libation favorites.

Ocean City Coffee Company

As you’re checking off items on your last-minute shopping list, don’t forget about your caffeine-loving guests. Visit Ocean City Coffee Company for freshly ground coffee to serve your guests. After all, you never know how late the game (or the party) will go.

No matter which team has your allegiance, have a fun and exciting Super Bowl Sunday!



Things to See and Do in Ocean City This Holiday Season

December is in full swing which means the holiday season is underway. If you’re looking for events to attend and things to do in Ocean City, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from in each and every category! Here’s a list of things to see and do in Ocean City this month:

Holiday Festival at the Ocean City Library (Dec. 8)

Christmas Tree Pixabay

The annual Holiday Festival unfolds at the Ocean City Free Public Library today, Sunday, December 8, at 1 p.m. Enjoy the Christmas tree lighting display, refreshments, live music, holiday crafts, and a visit from Santa!

Countdown to Christmas Deals at B&B (Dec. 8 & 9)

If you’re a B&B Reward cardholder, you can take advantage of fabulous sales during the Countdown to Christmas event at B&B on Sunday, December 8, and Monday, December 9. Reward cardholders will receive specific discounts depending on the amount they spend.

Holiday Dinner at the Soma Supper Club (Dec. 15)

Don’t miss the final Soma Cafe dinner of the year! The holiday dinner will be held on Sunday, December 15, and you can enjoy a delicious four-course meal for $35 per person. Seating is limited so be sure to make your reservations ASAP by emailing somacafeoc@gmail.com.

Free Horse and Carriage Rides (Saturdays and Sundays)


Get into the holiday spirit by enjoying free horse and carriage rides on Saturdays and Sundays in December. The rides will take place starting at City Hall on the following days/times:

  • Sunday, December 8: Noon–3 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 14: 8–11 a.m.
  • Sunday, December 15: Noon–3 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 21: Noon–3 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 22: Noon–3 p.m.

Greater Ocean City Theatre Company Shows (Various Dates)

The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company is putting on a few shows this month. The ticketed events take place at the Music Pier and include the following:

  • Lights, Camera, Christmas!: December 13 at 7:30 p.m.; December 14 at 2 p.m.; December 20 at 7:30 p.m.; December 21 at 7:30 p.m.; December 22 at 2 p.m.
  • Frozen, Jr.: December 14 at 7:30 p.m.; December 15 at 2 p.m.

Purchase your tickets online today and attend these exciting shows while supporting our local theater company.

Photos with Santa (Saturdays and Sundays)

Bring the whole family to the boardwalk on Saturdays and Sundays this month for photos with the big guy! Get your photo taken with Santa at the Music Pier from noon–3 p.m. on the following days:

  • Sunday, December 8
  • Saturday, December 14
  • Sunday, December 15
  • Saturday, December 21
  • Sunday, December 22

The cost is $10 per photo.

Holiday Book Sale (Dec. 13 & 14)

Put a smile on the faces of all of your gift recipients by giving them a book this year. During the Holiday Book Sale at the Ocean City Free Public Library, you can kick your gift buying into high gear. The event takes place on Friday, December 13, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Saturday, December 14, from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa (Saturdays and Sundays)

Combine two wonderful things into one during the Breakfast with Santa event: good food and dining with Santa! The event is held at different restaurants from 8–11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday prior to Christmas and the lineup includes the following:

  • Saturday, December 14: Arlene’s on Asbury
  • Sunday, December 15: Sunrise Cafe
  • Saturday, December 21: Yianni’s Cafe
  • Sunday, December 22: Jon and Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro


Mainland Spotlight: Cincotti’s Homemade

Every so often you see food photos on social media and you simply can’t get them out of your mind. This is the feeling experienced with Cincotti’s Homemade bread photos. From festive eggnog bread to a vanilla cream cheese icing-topped carrot bread, you’re going to want to include a Cincotti’s bread slice with every meal.

This Mays Landing company offers a wide array of bread options, all of which include natural ingredients with no preservatives. Whether you’re a fruit and nut bread lover or prefer your bread to have a sweeter consistency, such as a chocolate chip-laden loaf, Cincotti’s has you covered.

Cincottis Orange Cranberry Bread

Best of all, you can order your favorite bread online and have it delivered right to your door. Here are some of the options you might find when you visit the Cincotti’s online store:

  • Orange cranberry loaf
  • Carrot bread
  • Ginger bread
  • Cinnamon French toast banana bread
  • Banana bread
  • Chocolate chip banana bread
  • Reese’s peanut butter cup banana bread
  • And more!

Also, if you’re searching for the perfect edible gift to give this holiday season, check out the Christmas Bread Tin item, a wrapped bread tin complete with eight mini loaves. You’ll even score free shipping!

Cincottis Holiday Bread Tin

Visit the Cincotti’s Homemade website today and start selecting the bread items you’ll be serving during the holidays (and anytime throughout the year!).

Photo credit: Cincotti’s Homemade

Over the Bridge: Bakeria 1010 Opens at The Exchange at Linwood

The Exchange at Linwood, located at 2110 New Road, is known for its eclectic array of food vendors offering everything from robust coffee to unforgettable taco creations. With the addition of Bakeria 1010, this multi-faceted dining facility is now even better!

Chef/owner Michael Fitzick is no stranger to the culinary industry. He has been perfecting his pizza-making skills for years now, hosting pop-ups throughout the Garden State, much to the delight of pizza aficionados near and far. His latest venture is opening Bakeria 1010, a bakery/pizzeria with Neapolitan flair. Sourcing the highest quality ingredients and utilizing ancient methods of baking to turn them into a sensational finished product is at the forefront of this new eatery.

Bakeria 1010 pizza slice

Having just opened a couple of days ago, Bakeria 1010 is still in its soft opening phase. But, with the items you’ll currently find being served up hot and fresh at the eatery, you wouldn’t think this was the case at all! Here are some of the enticing menu items you might find at Bakeria 1010 on the day of your visit:

  • Sourdough chipotle cheddar baguette
  • Mortadella slice, a crispy and airy sourdough base topped with fresh mozzarella, pistachio pesto, whipped ricotta, mortadella, and pistachio grains
  • Sourdough boule with vanilla, almonds, and dates
  • Chocolate cake
  • Dessert featuring hazelnut cookies, Nutella, and homemade whipped cream
  • Cheese breadstick dippers
  • Poppy muffins
  • Cookies
  • And so much more!

Bakeria 1010 bread

The offerings will continually change, so be sure to stop by often! The hours of operation for Bakeria 1010 are as follows:

  • Tuesday through Thursday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Sunday: Noon–8 p.m.
  • Closed on Mondays

Bakeria 1010 dessert

Stop by Bakeria 1010 and explore the freshly-baked items that hit the menu each day. And, be sure to plan frequent return visits, as you’ll never know what new baked goods might be gracing the menu!

Photo credit: Bakeria 1010


New Restaurant Alert: Pork Island BBQ to Open This Spring in Ocean City

Some exciting restaurant news was just recently announced: Pork Island BBQ will be opening up a brick-and-mortar location in Ocean City this spring!

The new spot will be located at a prime location on the corner of 34th Street and Asbury Avenue and the owners are hoping for a soft opening in March 2020 and a grand opening in April 2020.

Some of you may already be familiar with this Best of the Press award winner as this South Jersey catering company has been impressing the barbecue-loving crowd for quite a few years now. Pork Island BBQ has appeared at many events including food festivals, breweries, fundraising events, and even backyard BBQ parties.


So, what can we expect to enjoy once the Ocean City location opens this spring? Plenty of delicious barbecue menu offerings and more! Here are some of the items the Pork Island BBQ team will be serving up:


  • Waffles and smoked sausage gravy
  • Pork Island Eggs Benedict, waffle rounds topped with their own smoked corned beef hash or pulled pork, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce
  • Breakfast sandwiches topped with their specialty smoked meats

Lunch/Early Dinner

  • Smoked barbecue items, including pulled pork, pulled chicken, pork ribs, brisket, and corned beef brisket
  • Six-ounce ground beef burgers
  • Smoked and grilled Italian sausage, peppers, and onions
  • Specialty pulled pork sandwiches, including The Porkster, which is a tempting pulled pork sandwich with pork roll, cheese, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce, and The JC Pig Daddy, featuring pulled pork, pork roll, cheese, bacon, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce
  • Sensational sides, such as their homemade three-cheese mac n’ cheese, Pork Island potato salad with chopped bacon and dill, custom barbecue sauces, and more

Pork Island BBQ sandwich

In addition to welcoming patrons into their restaurant location to dine, Pork Island BBQ will still offer its off-site catering menu for parties and events.

Keep checking back for updates as to the soft opening and grand opening dates in the next few months and be sure to check out Pork Island BBQ’s Facebook page to see what is headed your way this spring in Ocean City!

Photos: Pork Island BBQ