LAKE COMO, NJ — On the eve of the long Fourth of July weekend, two establishments with new owners have opened for business in the one-block area of 18th Avenue between Newman and White Streets.

While Discount Liquors reopened after being closed for more than a year under a new name and owner, Joe’s Saloon is replacing PK’s Shamrock Pub in a quick turnaround of ownership — bringing an abrupt end to Sunday bingo, to the delight of many residents in the neighborhood.

The new owners of Joe’s Saloon, situated at 18th and Newman, are brothers Bob and Chris Fahey, who own the Reef & Barrel in Manasquan and Cross & Orange in Asbury Park. “We are excited to be here,” Bob Fahey told the Lake Como Borough Council during the public hearing for the liquor license transfer on June 28. “We run a professional establishment and are confident we can change things, (like) there is no Sunday bingo.”

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During the past several summers, PK’s Shamrock Pub had attracted sometimes hundreds of bar-goers during the late-morning and early-afternoon hours on Sunday, creating even more traffic, noise, and drunken and disorderly persons headaches for residents.

While Joe’s Saloon opened today, June 29, the establishment will be closed after the summer for major renovations.

Named after the Faheys’ father, Joe’s Saloon will serve up more menu items and will increase its seating capacity for dining. “We will create an atmosphere where you can bring your kids and have a burger.”

He assured the council that the establishment will adhere to all the conditions placed on the liquor license when it operated as PK’s Shamrock Pub, including having on-site security personnel and paying for additional police patrols, if the police deems it necessary. Also lines are not allowed outside its premises after 11 p.m., and live entertainment is only permitted on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

“We will still be a fun lively place, but it will be controlled,” Bob Fahey said.

During the public hearing for the renewal of Colony Super Market’s liquor license, several residents expressed concern over the lack of parking for the store, located on the corner of 18th Avenue and White Street. “There’s a lot of illegal parking where there are no extra spaces on White or 18th, said Michael Hudy, who lives on the corner opposite the store.

The look of the building’s exterior prompted Robert Rumsby of 18th Avenue to ask whether the store owner can be directed to remove the large paper signs in the store’s large-windowed façade. “Those signs make it look honky-tonk,” he said.

Mayor Brian Wilton said that both concerns will be addressed, including having the Belmar Police Department monitor the parking situation.

The borough council also approved liquor license renewals for McCann’s Tavern and Paul’s Tavern, which was given the OK to have its hours for outside live entertainment extended by one hour to 10 p.m. on weekends.

As it was allowed for Memorial Day weekend, Bar Anticipation on 16th Avenue will designate for the Fourth of July holiday a separate entrance in the rear of its property where bar patrons can assemble — rather than near the street — while waiting to gain entry into the establishment.


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