Home to 90 years of memories for Jersey Shore natives and summer vacationers from all over alike, come one, come all to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk this summer for fun, food, family and friends during the destination’s 91st year of operation.
SUMMER 2019 AT JENKS
While certain aspects of Jenkinson’s are by far long-standing traditions, the destination and all it encompasses still comes up with new and exciting offerings to entice visitors each and every year.
This winter Jenkinson’s Pavilion got spruced up to welcome summer with a fresh appearance. “We updated the club this year, giving the place basically a fresh, new look,” said Joe Romano, manager at Jenkinson’s. “We wanted to get away from this whole 1990s club kind of vibe.”
Romano explained that the establishment does a lot of business during the day and that people were walking into Jenkinson’s in the middle of the daytime feeling like they were in a nightclub, which Jenkinson’s wanted to get away from.
“So we really wanted to focus on that daytime family atmosphere,” he explained. “So we repainted all the walls, we got rid of all the bright orange and blues and yellows. We re-did the floors and we re-did all the countertops to all the bars in the back, really completing that south Florida look.”
With years of success from the beach bar and open sand section, last year Jenkinson’s added four cabanas to the sand to better utilize the area. With the success of the cabanas as well, they will return for 2019, but with a few changes.
“As far as on the beach, the cabanas did very well last year, they’re doing even better this year,” said Romano. “Now that people are starting to get the hang of it and know about them. Holiday weekends obviously fill up very fast, but even during the week they’re doing better and better.”
This year’s addition to the area is a plethora of Adirondack chairs and the removal of one of the cabanas. “We took away one of the cabanas so we could focus on fewer and making sure just those few experiences were better and we instead added Adirondack chairs so people could sit around and look at the water,” he said, “not feel obligated to get a cabana or any of that kind of stuff. They can get a drink, they can sit down with a Jenk’s fresh-squeezed and really just enjoy it.”
With that part of the beach being roped off, Romano explains that customers can enjoy that portion of the beach without having to pay to get onto the beach. “You can’t bring lawn chairs or anything like that, but you can come to our Jenks Beach Bar, sit in an Adirondack chair, put your toes in the sand and not have to pay for that privilege,” he added. The Adirondack chairs are available to guests on a first come, first served basis.
Jenkinson’s Nightclub is quick to respond to the needs and wants of its clientele and also offers guests something new and exciting this summer involving the sand.
“As far as the nightclub goes, we now have a DJ on the beach every Saturday night,” explained Romano. “We weren’t going to do that. We were just going to do holiday weekends, but we found that a lot of the kids responded very well to it.
“They like having the option of live entertainment or DJ on the beach. We are a live entertainment venue at heart. We’ll always stick to our roots in that respect, but we can’t ignore the fact that some people just aren’t into it.”
Now, on Saturday nights customers have the ability to float back and forth between a DJ on the beach and live entertainment inside.
“I think kids really like it, too, because to the best of my knowledge we are the only club that you can put your toes in the sand with an ice cold beer and listen to a DJ,” said Romano. “There are other venues that are by the beach, but I don’t think any of them can actually put you on the beach listening to music like us, so that’s been awesome.”
Saturday night drink specials still feature $2 Bud Light aluminums from 9 p.m. to midnight. According to Romano, Jenkinson’s respects the fact that cash on hand isn’t the way it used to be and that some people are on a budget.
“ … So providing that $2 price point on a Saturday night really helps people be able to afford the experience of coming out here,” he added.
FRIDAYS AT JENKS
This year Jenkinson’s got rid of the happy hour during the week and ultimately decided to focus on one particular day of happy hour. Thus, Get Shucked Fridays was born. The name is new, but the seafood specials are still the same as last year.
Customers can enjoy 75-cent clams, $1 oysters and $2.50 shrimp from 3 to 6 p.m. Drink specials during that time will feature $2.50 Miller Lite and Coors Light 16 oz. aluminums.
Jenkinson’s Pavilion is still home to Dueling Pianos on Monday night at 8:30 p.m., which started on June 24. “The response for that has been going well the last two years and there’s really not much more to say about it other than people love it,” said Romano. “It’s a nice Monday night thing to do.”
The establishment gets different people every week and it’s free to attend with no cover, not to mention the performers will play any requests that you give them. New to Monday nights last year at Jenkinson’s Inlet Bar was Canines & Cocktails, which returns for another season.
According to Romano, it did very well last year and they’re keeping it going with no real changes. From 5 to 9 p.m. each Monday night, there are two different sections, one for small dogs and one for big dogs.
“And then after your dog’s done playing around with all the other dogs, as long as they’re leashed you can bring them to the bar,” he said. “They can sit right next to you while you have a drink with a friend.”
Comedy Night was brought back this year on Tuesday nights with doors opening at 8:30 p.m., except this year the amount of shows was doubled. Romano explained that last year they only had three shows, but the response went really well with it. It’s the same host, Ryan Maher, every other week with the first show having taken place on June 25.
“Wednesdays are Country Night so this year we have the All Access Pass so instead of VIP cards and filling out waivers online for discounted tickets and all that troublesome stuff, we decided to skip it all and for a flat $60 you can buy a pass that will get you into all eight shows for the rest of the summer,” explained Romano. Every show is $20 so Romano explains that if you plan on going to at least three shows the pass pays for itself.
Wednesday Country Nights kick off on July 10 with Travis Denning and the drink special is still $7 Souvenir Bud Light Boots, which can be refilled for $3.50 all night during country night. Thursdays are The Nerds starting June 27 and they will perform every Thursday, rain or shine. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the band starts immediately following the fireworks. Fireworks are also every Thursday, but are weather pending. Friday nights are Ladies Night again, which started right from the day Jenks opened this year. That’s ladies free all night along with $5 drinks for ladies all night. Everyone can enjoy $3 Miller Lite and Coors Light 16 oz. aluminums.
Sunday is the Flying Mueller Brothers followed by the B-Street Band each week. “This year we brought back the $3 Coronas, they start at 3 o’clock,” said Romano. For promos, it’s $3 Coronas at 3.
“In years prior we had it start later at nighttime and we’re bringing it back during the daytime for all of our customers. It’s definitely a Sunday drink.”
FOOD AND DRINK FEATURES
According to Romano, they consolidated the food menu this year as they are focusing on getting the food to the customers on time. “So we thought that by having a shorter menu and not making it over-complicated it helps us guarantee simpler recipes and getting the product out to the customer faster,” he explained. “A lot of people are down here on vacation and spend a lot of money and they’re here for the first time and if their experience the first time isn’t amazing, there won’t be a second time.”
“So for that aspect, we thought that was a wise choice on our part and so far it has worked out to our benefit. No one’s complained, no one’s minded the shorter menu, and people have been beyond happy to have their food delivered on time, the same way all day, everyday.”
Menu favorites? The nachos for starters. According to Romano, the nachos are one of the hotter items. “It’s a big plate of nachos,” he added. “It’s one of those items that once one person sees it other people start ordering it.”
The tacos are also noteworthy. According to Romano, the Mahi Mahi Tacos are also very big and with Jenkinson’s being on the beach in a seafood environment, they go over very well.
Pair any dish with one of the bar’s signature drinks to cool you off during the summer heat. “As far as drinks are concerned we serve daiquiris by the gallons it feels like here,” said Romano. “People love pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris, Miami Vices. We have the daiquiri machines so they’re whipping those things out as fast as they can.
“They’re consistent. They’re the same every time. People love them. But we’re probably most known for our fresh-squeezed. Oranges are brought in twice a week, squeezed fresh on the spot and that’s Skyy Vodka, the signature drink.”