ASBURY PARK, NJ -- This week, HomeGrown: Asbury Park visits Watermark, the go-to gathering spot located on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Host Stephanie Willoughby sat down with Watermark’s Owner & Creator, Russell Lewis, to discuss both the history and vibe of Watermark and the larger community of Asbury Park. 

Watermark is located on Ocean Avenue, steps away from local landmarks like the Stone Pony and the Asbury Park Casino, and rises one floor above the boardwalk, boasting a commanding view of the Atlantic. Watermark opened in 2008, is now in its 11th year of business, and is still going strong. 

“I did see a hole in the market here,” said Lewis, explaining how Watermark came to be. “I wanted a reason to live at my beach house year round,” he remarked. Not being able to find a good drink in town got the ball rolling. “A lightbulb went off,” he said. “I did see a lot of opportunity.” 

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Watermark’s design is focused on enabling conversation and connection. You won’t find live music here, or even TV sets. “There’s nothing to take you away from your great cocktail, socializing and that view,” Lewis said. Watermark offers a full mixology lounge with handcrafted cocktails, small bites and finger foods. “We take great care in the product we put out,” said Lewis. “We’re not your typical Jersey Shore boardwalk bar.” 

“One of the things that I think people don’t realize about Asbury Park is that we’re actually a city,” said Lewis. “There’s a little bit of everything here, which is what I really appreciate and like being amongst,” he added. 

Besides being the proprietor of Watermark, Lewis sits on three local community boards and was presented with the “Visionary Award” by the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce earlier this year. Lewis is currently working to help Asbury maintain its creative and edgy character by keeping the city affordable. “We’re trying to put in measures right now for housing so we can protect and retain that colorful, interesting part of our community,” he said. 

“The thing that got me first interested in Asbury was the way the town was laid out and designed,” Lewis said. “And it was always designed with the intention of entertaining people.” And with Watermark, Lewis certainly continues to build on that tradition. 

To learn more about Watermark, visit http://watermarkap.com/home.html.