BELMAR, NJ — Two days after Jack’s Tavern served its last drink, the popular Belmar establishment’s liquor license was transferred to the co-owner of the Beach Haus Brewery, located just blocks away.
The Belmar Council’s unanimous approval of the transfer on December 17 marked the next step in the brewery’s plan to become a “brewpub,” where it could offer on-site dining and full bar service — in addition to the variety of beers currently brewed and served on tap at its 801 Main Street location.
Beach Haus is now in the process of obtaining a restrictive brewery license from the N.J. Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) — freeing it from the voluminous rules and regulations that must be followed under its current limited brewery license.
Plans are under way to prepare a general operating plan that would need to be submitted to the state ABC and the borough, according to Joel Brudner, co-founder and managing partner of MB1 Capital Partners — the Belmar-based real estate investment firm that owns the brewery building.
Brudner, under MBLIQ, LLC, now holds the interest in the liquor license, which was a person-to-person transfer from Jobil Inc., doing business as Jack’s Tavern and owned by Michael Terranova. MB1 also purchased the building and business at 703 10th Avenue for an undisclosed price.
The plenary retail consumption license would also need to be transferred from Jack’s Tavern to the Beach Haus location, where a second-floor restaurant sits vacant next to the craft brewery portion of the landmark building — once home to Freedman’s Bakery.
“We would like to keep the momentum going and move (on the project) as soon as possible,” said Brudner, who owns MB1 with Christopher McCallion. “We are going to have a restaurant and a brewery — the best of both worlds.”
While the 3,700-square-foot restaurant, formerly Benny’s Fattoria, was part of the transformation of the bakery into the 30-barrel brew house five years ago, Brudner said the dining area and bar will be redesigned as part of the entire brewpub experience.
Although there no specific timeframe for obtaining all necessary state and local approvals, Brudner is hopeful the process will move along quickly, particularly since the restaurant and brewery met all zoning and code requirements when it opened in 2015.
As for the former Jack’s Tavern space, it will remain shuttered — “until we know everything is going through as we anticipate it will,” Brudner said, adding that the liquor license he now holds allows him to reopen the establishment, which was open for 85 years.
Once the Beach Haus’ expansion plan clears all hurdles and becomes a reality, he said he plans seek another tenant for 703 10th Avenue.
As for the closing of Jack’s Tavern on December 15, Council President Thomas Brennan thanked the Terranova family for “everything they’ve done” to keep Jack’s part of the community for 80-plus years. “Jack’s will be missed,” he said.
After the December 17 public hearing that drew no comments, voting in favor of the liquor license transfer were Mayor Mark Walsifer, who echoed Brennan’s remarks, and council members Patricia Wann and Thomas Carvelli. Brennan, a professional musician, recused himself from voting because he may at times perform at Belmar establishments, and Councilman James McCracken was absent.
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