Leggett’s Sand Bar stands proudly at 217 First Ave. in Manasquan; the same location it’s called home since the 1930s. And while the bar and restaurant has seen a transformation over the years and withstood the damage of Superstorm Sandy, the love that the owners, staff and customers alike have for the establishment never waivers.
LEGGETT’S LONG STANDING HISTORY
“I’ve been working here for about 30 years,” shared Paul Wolf, general manager. “The Paglias and the Floods bought this from Fred Leggett I guess in 1986 or 1987, around then.
“It’s been here since the repeal of Prohibition and they’ve expanded the business a lot.”
A true testament to the establishment’s ownership, Leggett’s proves to be one of those locations where the staff and the customers stay the same over the years.
“It shows you what kind of people the owners are,” said Wolf. “Everybody stays here and works for them, it’s not your average place.
“They kind of have a family atmosphere. They’re just wonderful. I mean, like I said, I’ve worked for them for 30 years.
“I’ve worked for them and they’re, you know, fantastic people to work for,” said Wolf, who started at the door and progressed up the ladder from there.
FOOD, DRINKS AND PLENTY OF SPECIALS
Leggett’s features a full food menu for guests to enjoy featuring everything from appetizers, soups, salads and sides to burgers, sandwiches, entrees and the ever popular Wood-Fired Brick Oven Pizza.
Food specials include Wing Night on Mondays, South of the Border Night on Wednesdays, Pasta Night on Thursdays and Prime Rib on Saturday. Leggett’s also features Pie and Pitcher as well as Wing and Pitcher specials on certain days.
“Our brick oven pizza and wings, those are pretty much the staples around here,” said Wolf.
There is always something happening at Leggett’s, whether it’s specials, live entertainment or activities. “We have a drink special and a beer special every single day of the week,” he added.
The establishment features a dart league and a shuffleboard league for patrons to partake in and the all-year-round activities show Leggett’s transformations.
“I mean the business has changed a lot,” explained Wolf. “It used to be just a few winter rentals, but now there are a lot of people who are full-time residents down in this area.
“It’s not like when I was a kid coming down here in the wintertime there was nothing.”
SPRING AND SUMMER AT LEGGETT’S
Once the weather warms up, guests can enjoy delectable dining and refreshing cocktails on the patio. For Wolf, warm weather is what he’s most looking forward to as they get ready for the spring and summer season.
“Yeah, just the weather, the people coming down, the hustle and bustle of Manasquan beach, he said. People, the kids coming, families, it’s just a lot of fun.”
With the influx of people that local beach towns see in the summer it comes as no surprise that summer continues to be the busiest time of year for Leggett’s.
“Yeah it’s a whole different kind of atmosphere in the summer though,” said Wolf. “It gets crazy.”
Despite the summertime craziness, certain nights at Leggett’s remain favorites of locals. According to Wolf, Tuesday nights are the Volleyball League, which draws a lot of local people and Monday, Tuesday and Sunday nights are also big local hangout nights.
In addition to the weekly live entertainment that Leggett’s features, they also showcase special events filled with great music and great times. On Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m., stop into Leggett’s for “Petty For A Day” featuring Mike Dalton with Pat Roddy, Frankie Palmer [Undisputed] along with members of the Mike Dalton Band.
“Petty For A Day” isn’t the only musical tribute that’s taken over Leggett’s for a day. Back in January the bar hosted a Beatles Day fundraiser for Team Shamrock. Wolf explained that without the interest from local musicians, these types of events wouldn’t exist.
“But I mean to do those things Mike Dalton had me in this chat with a bunch of musicians who I didn’t even know who they were and we would pass back information about the Beatles,” shared Wolf. “And somebody said, ‘Too bad nobody would just let us play all Beatles one night,’ and I said “Leggett’s would!”
“And the next thing you know Mike has me in a side text saying, are you serious? And I’m like, yeah, and that’s pretty much how that all started.”
According to Wolf, they have thought of doing more of these types of events in the future. “It all has to do with what the guys in the band want to do,” he said. “I’m always open to anything.”
The summer season also means guests can enjoy live entertainment featuring Overboard on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights will rotate between Glimmer Glass Band and Laylow Jones. Thursdays will feature Rich Meyer on the patio. According to Wolf, that all kicks in at the end of May, but Overboard won’t start until the end of June.
Don’t forget to stop in on Thursday nights and enjoy live entertainment with Undisputed as well as the infamous Shot Wheel featuring various types of $1 shots all evening.
LEGGETT’S: BAR, RESTAURANT AND HOME AWAY FROM HOME
It’s clearly evident that Leggett’s is far more than a bar or restaurant to the majority of people that walk through its doors. It’s exactly that, which keeps customers coming back season after season and staff from turning over each year.
“It’s funny that a lot of the kids that grew up coming in here with their parents, some of them work here now,” shared Wolf.
According to Wolf, one of the things that has kept him at Leggett’s each and every year is just everyone he works with.
“I mean a couple of these guys, like I’ve worked with Perry 30 years, I’ve worked with Scott for 30 years, Keith almost 30 years,” he said. “I mean all these guys, these guys are all my friends.
“That’s pretty much what’s kept me here, just everything; the atmosphere, the customers are awesome. That’s a big part of it.”
“You can work at the best place in the world, but if the customers aren’t fun … especially in the service business. I mean not everybody is as lucky as we are with the customers we have because they’re just a bunch of great people. You know they invite you to their weddings, their family things, all that stuff. You go on vacation with some people. It’s a whole different place.”