Patrons pack Jersey Shore nightclubs over Memorial Day weekend

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The line to get into the Osprey in Manasquan wrapped around the block as clubgoers, draped in ponchos and garbage bags, braved the wet and windy weather over the weekend. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

While rain, wind and temperatures in the low 50s was enough to keep beachgoers away over Memorial Day weekend, it didn’t stop clubgoers from lining up outside their favorite Jersey Shore bars and nightclubs.

Long lines of patrons, wrapped up in garbage bags and ponchos to stay dry, formed at nightlife hotspots like the Osprey in Manasquan, D’Jais in Belmar and Jenks in Point Pleasant during each night of the holiday weekend.

For the Osprey, Friday night was the club’s first opening in almost two years.

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“Everything went well. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and thanked me for opening,” owner Diane Marcks said. “They love the Osprey; the Osprey’s an institution and you hear all the stories [like] ‘my mother came here when she was 21.’”

The Osprey is used to drawing a big crowd, Ms. Marcks said, but she was surprised to see the line start forming three hours before the doors opened on Friday night.

“I honestly couldn’t believe that people love the Osprey so much that they would be in that cold,” Ms. Marcks said. “It was 47 degrees, rainy and cold, and they stood there in line waiting patiently.”

The Osprey announced that it would open for Memorial Day weekend on the heels of Gov. Phil Murphy’s press conference on Monday, May 24 when he lifted the indoor mask and social distancing mandates; opened dance floors at bars and restaurants; and permitted ordering as well as eating and drinking, while standing.

“Considering we had three days to open, we did a marvelous job,” Ms. Marcks said. “I appreciate my staff; everyone pitched in to get this place open. I flew in from Florida, Tuesday night at 8:30, and Friday we were open.”

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