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Borough Approves Temporary Home For Donovan's Reef

SEA BRIGHT: As Donovan’s Reef works to rebuild its popular club for the summer, the use of a temporary tiki bar in the meantime was slightly amended to include some safety concerns raised by Sea Bright officials.

Sea Bright Borough Council discussed the need for a construction fence around the area of the main building, and a ramp that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act for the tiki bar. In addition, access for police vehicles to patrol the beachfront was brought up by borough police.

“We’ve met with Donovan’s in several meetings to have them up and running in a temporary fashion for summer, said Borough Administrator Joseph L. Verruni. “There were basically two or three concerns.”

Verruni said Donovan’s have addressed the ADA concerns and agreed to improve fencing around the construction as well.

The tiki bar arrived on the Donovan’s Reef site May 1, and the bar has been promoting a “Tiki Rising” campaign to draw patrons back to the outdoor bar this summer. It’s a classic tiki-style wood bar, square, on a wooden platform on the beach in Sea Bright.

Although the permanent building plans had already been approved by the Sea Bright Planning Board, council discussed the plans for the temporary structure during construction and how long they will be in place as the permanent building is built past summer 2014.

Amending plans to include the ramp, fence and police access were approved, and council agreed the tiki bar structure should be an approved use through 2014.

“I’m in favor of moving this along,” said Councilman James Lobiondo, part of the discussion on the April 22 meeting. “Donovan’s is an important part of Sea Bright.”

Mayor Dina Long said she thought Donovan’s Reef would have to seek re-approval to allow the tiki bar to continue past that.

“Can we put a sunset on this? One year from today,” Long asked, and the council agreed, allowing the tiki bar to exist through 2014.

Donovan’s Reef, demolished by Hurricane Sandy, announced its intention to be open for summer 2014 after plans were approved in February for a new two-story building. A temporary tiki bar will accommodate patrons, possibly with a Memorial Day weekend opening.

The popular bar will be rebuilt as a more modern two-story building with a full kitchen. The building will be significantly raised to prevent damage from future storms.

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