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Turning Up The Heat on the Jersey Shore

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

It may be universal - many of us share the love of outdoor dining from sidewalk seating to tented spaces, open-air courtyards, and beer gardens. Affectionately referred to as al fresco (an Italian phrase meaning “in the open air”, a nod to time spent in the “cooler” ) dining, this recent shift in our traditional dining routine may be seen as one of the only “perks” from an alternate universe created by the Coronavirus. Some restaurants, bars, and coffee houses offering outdoor dining have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction of patrons. Most of us really enjoy this new way of life at The Shore whenever weather permits. And meteorologists predict near ideal conditions for the upcoming weeks, so we still have a little time to enjoy this phenomenon!

This fall has been pretty warm — Indian Summer-like, really — and it seems that the rain may be behind us for a while. But as we have seen, cooler temperatures have arrived. This shift in seasons means you need to know where to look for outdoor dining venues that add a little extra warmth with heat lamps, tents, and fire pits!

Regulations are in place which currently prohibit restaurants on the boardwalk or the beach from using heaters, while others have simply been unable to get them, they are an investment! However, a number of bars and restaurants from Asbury Park to Bay Head have installed or have plans to install heat lamps for maximum comfort during these upcoming chillier months. 

It is best to keep in mind that heat lamps and fire pits are not guaranteed to be on at all times. We strongly advise that you call ahead so you don’t end up “out in the cold”! A bit of trivia: one canister of propane lasts only 8 hours. So, a BIG “thank you” to all participating establishments! 

If you know of any other great local establishments with heat lamps, fire pits, tented areas, or blankets, let us know. And if you are a restaurant that we’ve missed mentioning, help us expand our recommendations by letting us know and we’ll be sure to add to you to the list!  

Stay warm, have fun, and be good to your server!  Here are some of those helping to keep us comfortable:


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