SEA BRIGHT: For the first time since it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the owners and fans of the Mad Hatter have a reason to smile.
The Sea Bright Planning/Zoning Board of Adjustment gave approval to owner Scott Kelly to build a $4 million, 15,000-square-foot facility where his original bar/restaurant was destroyed. The board voted 6-3 on June 30 to grant Kelly the variances and site plan approval he needs to move forward with the project.
Kelly received a $5 million disaster loan from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in 2015 and appeared before the board for the first time at the end of last summer in an attempt to get the project moving. However, opposition from nearby neighbor, Jennifer Walsh, who said the project will generate too much noise and traffic, delayed the board's decision on the project as she hired her own attorney and experts to testify.
The new new building will be elevated over seven covered parking spaces and a storage area. The first floor will have a bar and dining area and the second floor will feature additional dining space, a kitchen and an outdoor patio bar overlooking the ocean.