By DON STINE
One of the most eclectic restaurants in Asbury Park, and perhaps in the surrounding area, is about to open in Asbury Park.
Kim Marie’s Eat ‘n Drink Away, in the former Adriatic restaurant at 1409 Kingsley Street, is scheduled to open by Christmas after more than a year of renovations, said co-owner John McGillion.
“There are new floors, walls, ceilings, new bathrooms, and a new look on the exterior and interior,” he said.
McGillion also owns Johnny Mac House of Spirits at 208 Main St., Asbury Park and anyone familiar with that iconic watering hole, which offers free pizzas, will appreciate Kim Marie’s.
The restaurant’s exterior is mostly brick and stone with gas lanterns and vintage doors, iron railings (each one different) and resalvaged and repurposed architectural features.
“It will be one of the most unique bars- by tops,” McGillion said. “The décor is like no other bar in the area.”
A handmade bar top is loaded with memorabilia, much of it from Asbury Park. Special niches have been cut into the bar to accommodate any three-dimensional objects. A canopy that runs around the bar on the ceiling depicts various street scenes from Asbury Park.
But there is more. There are unusual lamps and pictures throughout the place, and five new bathrooms, two of which are handicapped accessible. Few walls are the same in Kim Marie’s, with many architectural items coming from demolition at Governor’s Island in New York Harbor.
Old theatre lights hang from the ceiling, with is now made of huge, wooden beams. The The receptionist’s podium was carved out of a solid piece of wood with a chainsaw. Bluestone slate walls and metal supports grace one bathroom, and most every window, railing and other object in the place is unique.
“Everything is eclectic. We have a different style,” McGillion said.
The restaurant will seat about 100 people and will serve American-style cuisine.
“It will be old-fashioned, good food with a little bit of everything. It will be comfort food but on a more upscale level,” said the restaurant’s new chef John Panebianco, who is a former chef from Brando’s on Main Street in downtown Asbury Park.
The restaurant and bar is named in honor of McGillion’s daughter, Kim Marie, who died nine years ago when she was 37. She was a graduate of Fordham University with a MBA in accounting and an MS in taxation.
“How could I not name the bar after her?” McGillion said. “It is a fitting tribute and she would have loved it.”