Asbury Park springs to life this summer with exciting concerts, new business openings, re-openings and more

By:  | July 2, 2024 Features Monmouth County

By Rebecca King

 

Asbury Park is one of those rare shore towns that somehow manages to stay buzzing all year round. But we’d be lying if we didn’t admit there’s something extra special about Asbury Park during the summertime. Whether you're a beach bum, shop-a-saurus, music enthusiast or foodie, there's something here for everyone to enjoy. So pack your sunscreen, grab your shades, slurp down a rum bucket and get ready to dive into the best that Asbury Park has to offer this summer.

 

Where to Rock Out:

 

Stone Pony Summer Stage

Did you even really do summer in Jersey without a trip to the Stone Pony? The iconic venue is celebrating 50 years, so if you’ve never seen a concert at the Stone Pony’s open-air Summer Stage before, this is the perfect time. Catch the following artists on the Summer Stage:

 

  • Moe.: 4 p.m. on July 4
  • Railroad Earth: 6 p.m. on July 5
  • Streetlight Manifesto: 7:30 p.m. on July 6
  • Jamey Johnson: 5:30 p.m. on July 10
  • The Used: 6 p.m. on July 12
  • O.A.R. Summer Tour 24: 6:30 p.m. on July 19
  • The Bouncing Souls: 4 p.m. on July 20
  • Dark Star Orchestra: 6 p.m. on July 21
  • Two Door Cinema Club: 6:30 p.m. on July 26
  • Iration and Pepper: 6 p.m. on Aug. 2
  • The Struts: 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 3
  • Sad Summer Festival 2024 (Featuring Mayday Parade, The Maine, The Wonder Years, We the Kings, Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, Daisy Grenade, and Diva Bleach): 2 p.m. on Aug. 4
  • Gaslight Anthem: 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 16
  • Whiskey Myers: 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 21
  • Something Corporate: 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 23
  • New Found Glory: 6:30 .m. on Aug. 24
  • Sublime with Rome: 6 p.m. on Aug. 25
  • Umphrey’s McGee: 5 p.m. on Aug. 28
  • Almost Queen: 7 p.m. on Aug. 30
  • Waxahatchee: 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 1
  • Dashboard Confessional: 5 p.m. on Sept. 10
  • Justin Moore & Randy Houser: 5 p.m. on Sept. 27
  •  

Stone Pony is located at 913 Ocean Ave. N., Asbury Park; 732-502-0600, stoneponyonline.com.

 

House of Independents

House of Independents has reopened just in time for the summer. The venue has been a local favorite since 2016 but was forced to close in September of 2023 due to damage caused by the flooding of Wesley Lake. House of Independents celebrated its reopening in June with a concert by Brian Fallon, the frontman of Gaslight Anthem and a Red Bank native. The highlight of the summer season will be three shows by The Starting Line from July 25 to 27. While those shows are already sold out, you can still get tickets to the following:

 

  • Puppeteers for Fears presents: Cthulhu: The Musical: 8 p.m. on July 2; $20.
  • The Wailers: 8 p.m. on July 6; $35.
  • Prince Daddy and the Hyena: 7 p.m. on July 9; $25.
  • Jake Hill: 7:30 p.m. on July 18; $30.
  • The Dangerous Summer: 5:30 p.m. on July 20; $20.
  • In Our Glory: 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 10; $15.
  • Beachside Boogie: 7 p.m. on Aug. 17, $20.
  • LOUYAH “Dying to Know You” Tour: 7 p.m. on Aug. 23, $20
  • Louie DeVito: 9 p.m. on Aug. 31, $35-$300.
  • Koo Koo: 1 p.m. on Sept. 15, $25-$50.
  • Soen: 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, $25.
  •  

House of Independents is located at 572 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park; houseofindependents.com.

 

The Saint

A beloved music venue may be reopening this summer after closing in 2022. The Saint, which originally opened in 1994 and has hosted such stellar acts as Jewel, Joey Ramone, Crimson Voodoo, Leeds Point and Cake, as well as hundreds of others, announced that its grand reopening is in the works.

On May 1, the venue posted on its Facebook saying that management is focusing on reinstating the venue’s liquor license. The post continued, “Once that is cleared we begin plans to find the right location and are working through a couple options now in the downtown area. Once we have solidified plans we will announce it to the public.”

Though there are no shows to report on now, there may be a few announced in the near future.

 

Sea.Hear.Now Festival

 

The Sea.Hear.Now Festival is the Jersey Shore’s perfect summer send-off, and this year is easily the most anticipated of any in the fest’s history. A celebration of music and surf culture that has been running annually since 2018, Sea.Hear.Now returns to the sands of Asbury Park from Sept. 14 to 15. Saturday’s show will be headlined by “Stick Season” singer Noah Kahan, with performances by the Black Crowes, 311, The Revivalists, The Hives, Grace Potter, Sierra Ferrell, Peaches, Guster, Ziggy Alberts, Robert Randolph Band, Joe P, Passafire and Sonic Blue. But the big news is that  for the first time ever, Asbury royalty Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will headline Sunday’s show. Ticket-holders that day can also catch performances by The Gaslight Anthem, Trey Anastasio Band, Norah Jones, Kool & The Gang, Action Bronson, Gogol Bordello, Larkin Poe, Joy Oladokun, The Aces and more.

While the music festival rages on, a surf competition will take place out on the waves, attended by East Coast surf legends like Balaram Stack, Cam Richards, Sam Hammer and Cassidy McClain. Attendees will also get to enjoy art installations from artists Pork Chop, Jasen Mack, Tim Sramowicz and more.

Tickets are sold out. Go to seahearnowfestival.com for more information.

 

Other Places to Catch Live Music:

 

The Wonder Bar: 1213 Ocean Ave. N., Asbury Park; 732-455-3767, wonderbarasburypark.com.

The Break: 1000 Ocean Ave. N., Asbury Park; 732-361-3639, thebreakap.com.

Low Dive: 1000 Ocean Ave. N., Asbury Park; lowdiveap.com.

Tim McLoone’s Supper Club: 1200 Ocean Ave. N., Asbury Park; 732-774-1155, timmcloonessupperclub.com.

 

Where to Dine & Shop:

 

4th Avenue Pavilion

The long-anticipated reopening of the 4th Avenue Pavilion has arrived, bringing with it eclectic shops and restaurants.

“We look forward to launching summer with new offerings for the season,” said Jaime Kelley, senior general manager of the 4th Avenue Pavilion. Reopening 4th Avenue Pavilion will give opportunity to some new and local small businesses as well as provide our visitors with more options.”

The pavilion will also soon be covered with wall-to-wall murals, as the Boardwalk has partnered with the local public arts non-profit Wooden Walls Project to enliven the space. Shops opening in the boardwalk pavilion include:

 

  • The Art Spot is a studio space, art shop, gallery and workshop; @artspotap on Instagram.
  • Buttermee Pancakes specializes in tiny yet fluffy buttermilk pancakes that can be sweetened with your favorite toppings; buttermeepancakes.com.
  • Chocolate Moonshine Co. is a gourmet fudge shop with more than 30 flavors available, as well as Caribbean rum cakes and cold chocolate drinks; chocolatemoonshine.com.
  • Sugar Pop Candy Bar is a candy shop bursting with over 100 kinds of candy – from nostalgic classics to new favorites, including a PinkBerery Frozen Yogurt shop; sugarpopusa.com.
  • Sugar Pop Popcorn offers dozens of flavors of popcorn, saltwater taffy and cotton candy.
  • Promised Land Apparel sells customizable clothing and merchandise featuring more than 100 unique Asbury Park-themed designs; facebook.com/promisedlandap.
  • The Shop offers swimwear and women’s beachwear.
  • Asbury Nation sells women’s and men’s swimwear, beach apparel and accessories.

 

Baked Bear

Baked Bear, a national ice cream sandwich chain, opened a new location in Asbury Park in April. Beaked Bear was founded by childhood friends Rob Robbins and Shane Stanger, with its first location opening in Pacific Beach, California in 2013. It’s known for its baked-from-scratch cookies and brownies that sandwich the ice cream flavor of your choice. Baked Bear also offers ice cream cups, cones and sundaes, as well as two new cookie flavors of the month and seasonal rotating ice cream flavors. And look out for the Baked Bear food truck at local festivals and parties, as well.

“We chose Asbury Park because of the great downtown food and beverage scene,” said owner Tyler Hess. “There are lots of great restaurants and bars where people like to go. It is less seasonal in nature than our boardwalk location in Pier Village, making it a great complement to our growing business.”
Baked Bear is located at 614 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park; thebakedbear.com.

Asbury Park Brewery
Much loved local, Asbury Park Brewery has moved to a brand-new location on Cookman Avenue in the heart of downtown. The new digs features a tap room with 12 taps as well as an art installation from famed local artist Porkchop and offers 3180 square feet of space for beer enthusiasts to enjoy. The brewery, which opened in 2016, was formerly located at 810 Sewell Avenue. The new location will provide much more foot traffic for the business as well as yet another spot for the bar-hopping crowd to pop in at. Asbury Park Brewery is located at 614 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park; AsburyParkBrewery.com
 

CatBird
Want to mix up the ocean view? CatBird Wood Fired Kitchen just opened along Deal Lake. This cozy artisanal pizza joint looks like a quaint cabin with a spacious deck. Inside, you’ll find its chefs cooking up a variety of pizzas, salads, and sides. CatBird’s 12-inch pizzas are hand-stretched, wood-fired at 850 degrees using locally sourced kiln-dried hardwoods, and finished with Maldon sea salt, fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. CatBird is a BYO but takes its drink menu to the next level with the cleverly-named Mocking Bar — a selection of tonics and botanicals mixed into mocktails that pair perfectly with your BYO bottle.

CatBird is located at 1215 Sunset Ave., Asbury Park; catbirdap.com.

 

Where to Relax:

Bonfires on the Beach

Asbury Park will once again light up the night with bonfires on the beach, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in July and August and Fridays at 7 p.m. in September. The location of the bonfire will be at a different beach each week. You can find the schedule at apboardwalk.com/news/events/bonfire-on-the-beach.

 

Yappy Hour
The Wonder Bar’s much-loved dog-park-meets-happy-hour event returns this year with a stay of execution of sorts. The upcoming construction of a new condo development set to be located on a portion of its property means this beloved tradition will likely disappear in the near future, but for summer 2024, it’s still here! So grab your doggo and head down for one of the most fun activities in town. Wonder Bar is located at 1213 Ocean Ave in Asbury Park. WonderBarAsburyPark.com

 

Photo by Sean Kelly

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