Down in Cape May, Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grille has stood as a staple for locals and tourists alike. Now, in 2022, some new and exciting changes have been made to the venue, and it’s open for business for the sunny season.
As perhaps one of the longest family-owned and operated businesses in Cape May, Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grille, and its next door neighbor—the Montreal Beach Resort—have finally changed hands after 56 years in business. The new owner is Madison Resorts, a locally owned hospitality management company headed by property operations veteran Dan Alicea, who has previously worked in the local market leading the revitalization of two historic resorts on the East Coast.
Along with the new management comes a new executive chef as well, Jim Maugeri. Maugeri and his team is expanding on Harry’s menu, which specializes in fresh local seafood, signature sandwiches and their popular orange crushes, plus a full menu of local beer, summer cocktails and wine.
Maugeri, a New Jersey native, started working in LBI at age 16 washing dishes at Raimondo’s in Surf City. Since then, he’s had many achievements including attending Johnson and Wales, working for former Red Sox third baseman John Valentin, and working as an executive chef at multiple properties including the Under the Moon Café in Bordentown, New Jersey.
“I’m excited to serve and host thousands of people a week this summer,” said Maugeri in a statement. “I spent the last few weeks getting to know our locals, neighbors and early guests of The Montreal. I am excited to meet and cook for even more guests as the height of summer comes upon us. I thrive when things get busy and I get to do what I love each and every day. The early feedback from guests has been so positive, and it’s going to be a summer I will never forget.”
A few select new dishes for the summer season includes bananas foster French toast, a crab cake benedict, sesame-crusted tuna, fish tacos and more. There’s also a few unique dish options on the docket, including the Southern Touch (boasting sautéed Cajun shrimp and chorizo with a zesty cumin stewed tomato sauce over cheesy grits), Beyond the Dunes (an all-vegan beyond patty topped with goat cheese and basil aioli,) and the Fishermen’s Stew (pan-seared scallops, mussels, shrimp and clams in a san marzano tomato sauce served over linguine.)
When asked about the new menu and inspiration, Maugeri said: “The menu is a combination of my passion for seafood, local sourcing and Harry’s beach favorites. I wanted to add depth to our seafood offerings and provide a balance of land items, gluten free and vegetarian dishes too. My goal was to bring the menu up to a new level, while having elevated dishes alongside accessible crowd pleasers. There’s a great mix of sandwiches, burgers and handhelds, starters and more elaborate entrees. But my passion in the kitchen is in working with seafood – I love working with all different types of fish including swordfish, seabass, halibut, shrimp, etc. and pairing them with fresh herbs, gastriques and complex pan pickups. Seafood offers a plethora of opportunities and lets me get creative. Plus, watch for our culinary team to shine with weekly specials that really let us get creative.”
Guests headed to Harry’s and The Montreal can also find renovated rooms now available directly off of Harry’s roof deck, upgrades for summer breakfast service, expanded hours, exciting weekly food specials, rotating weekly cocktail specials and now room service for guests of the latter.
Beach service is also available from noon to 4 p.m., where you can order from the beach menu and have your order delivered from the kitchen to the beach. There’s also The Wine Cellar next door to Harry’s for vino lovers, which offers selections for more experienced wine lovers and spirit-forward drinkers, plus a host of accessible and staple selections for those seeking the familiar and casual.
There will also be live music at Harry’s seven days a week at the roof top bar and deck, and in the dining room and patio below. According to the release, entertainment options throughout the summer include Triple Rail Turn playing weekly, as well as Dueling Pianos. Each day of the week will also feature a different theme for the summer, including Country Crush with Triple Rail Turn on Wednesdays, and Weekend Vibes with Five Times Famous on Sundays.
The Montreal Beach Resort (1025 Beach Ave, Cape May) will be keeping the same name for the immediate future and much of the long time staff, the release states. Culinary experiences for Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille will be getting a lift as they plan new updates to the menu and the addition of room service for hotel guests. Harry’s will also be receiving a boost to its entertainment schedule throughout the summer with more live music and interactive entertainment.
For information visit harryscapemay.com and montrealbeachresort.com
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