By ED SALVAS
People walking the boards in Ocean Grove or enjoying the district’s beach can now take a break in the air-conditioned comfort of The Dunes Boardwalk Cafe.
The Dunes, which opened in mid-summer of 2016, is now open daily for the summer of 2017 and boasts nine businesses offering a variety of beachside eats.
Several of the nine businesses at The Dunes are new this year, including the America’s Cup Coffee and Tea Co. which is a branch of the popular Cookman Avenue shop in Asbury Park. Owner Ross Blanco said taking a space at the Dunes was a “no brainer” for America’s Cup.
“I had been looking for a second location,” Blanco said, and he also liked the seasonal aspect of The Dunes which will be open every day through Labor Day and then weekends until October 15. Blanco called the atmosphere “very beachy.”
The Dunes resembles a food court with about 20 picnic tables inside for diners to sit and relax with great views of the beach and ocean. It’s also the only food available on the Ocean Grove boardwalk. Another new business this year is Luigi’s Famous Pizza which also has an established year-round business on Sunset Avenue in Ocean Township. Next to Luigi’s is Frankie’s Franks which returned this year. The hot dog vendor also has two locations in Brick Township.
Bubbakoos Burritos has 12 New Jersey locations and brings a Mexican flair to the Dunes and there’s also a traditional Hawaiian flavor at Eat Poke Bro, described as sushi in a bowl. Asia is also represented at Playa Bowls, a growing chain of restaurants with 16 in New Jersey. There are also Acai bowls (pronounced Ah-sigh-ee) which are thick smoothies.
If a traditional hamburger is what you’re looking for, it’s Burgers on the Bards operated by the Ale House of Asbury Park where they also do breakfast on the boards. “Lobstah Rolls” was also open last summer and returns to sell its Jersey Shore favorite. Ice Cream? It’s Just Another Days, a longtime Ocean Grove favorite, for real ice cream, dairy free or an Italian Ice.
The Dunes Boardwalk Cafe is also available for a private party or event. The hours may change after the Memorial Day Weekend. Learn more at www.dunesboardwalkcafe.com.