By DON STINE
A unique co-op restaurant at the north end of the Ocean Grove boardwalk will open this weekend and it promises to have food items to please just about everyone.
The new Dunes Boardwalk Café will house eight different food vendors – each offering their own specialty items.
The building has been closed since befoe Superstorm Sandy. It formerly housed the Homestead Restaurant which opened in 1915 and featured white tablelothes on all the tables and silver-plated tea service. It closed in 1978. Later it housed a Perkins Pancake House and several other restaurants.
“We will have a lot of variety, good healthy foods, reasonable prices, and be a family-friendly place on beach in Ocean Grove,” said Michele Gannon, who is also co-founder of Mary’s Place By the Sea, also in Ocean Grove.
“We are individual members in a single cooperative venture that will share facilities,” she said.
Gannon and some of her family members are one of the main motivators behind the new restaurant and her café will be called “It’s All Good” and serve organic juices, smoothies, coffee, salads, collard wraps, and other healthy food choices.
“I became motivated with the new restaurant idea over the winter and wanted to provide a place where people can come with their family and enjoy the beautiful oceanfront scenery,” she said.
Mary’s Place by the Sea, on Main Avenue, provides services to women who are undergoing treatment for cancer and one of those services is nutritional education- teaching women how to use food as medicine to enhance their medical treatments.
And now Gannon wants to share this vision with an even wider audience and on a larger scale.
“I want to open people’s minds to eating well without compromise,” she said.
Other food vendors in the Dunes Boardwalk Café include one serving lobster rolls, Coney Island waffle ice cream, Papa Blootz pizza, crepes and cakes, and specialty burgers.
“We are so excited about the summer and you can’t beat the view here. We will have something for everyone,” said Cassie Ditaolo, manager for Burgers On The Boards.
Her specialty will be handmade ground-beef burgers and black-bean burgers for vegetarians, specialty French fries, and chicken fingers. She will also serve breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. that includes pork roll and egg and cheese sandwiches and specialty omelets.
The restaurant, which will be open daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., has interior picnic tables for diners and some music. The grand opening will begin Friday, June 24 with live music Friday night and yoga at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Face-painting and other activities for children will also be available.
The restaurant will also have “grab-and-go” items that can be taken to the beach.