‘Frasier’ visits Ocean Club site in Seaside as theater plan is delayed
SEASIDE HEIGHTS — A swanky new cabana complex along the beach is close to opening, as construction continues.
The Ocean Club has private cabanas starting at $7,500 a year, which offer beach and pool access, along with Wi-Fi and electric.
Kelsey Grammer added some star power with a recent sighting in front of the pool in progress.
The Facebook page of the club noted the actor — best known as Dr. Frasier Crane from “Cheers” and the hit spinoff “Frasier” — planned to return in July to enjoy the facilities, which also include The Ocean Club Restaurant, already well underway.
The actor has Jersey roots as he spent the first decade or so of his childhood in the Colonia section of Woodbridge.
Up next for the beachfront project would be a concert venue — if local officials give the green light.
Putting off the pitch
On Monday, it was confirmed that there would be a delay before the developer could present the next phase of the project.
"The Planning Board was unable to consider the application in a workshop meeting format because it was determined that a 'concert venue' serving alcoholic beverages would require a use variance," Seaside Heights Administrator Christopher Vaz said in response to New Jersey 101.5 on Wednesday.
He added there was no request for a use variance in the current application for the performance venue.
Since securing a $10 million loan in 2019 for the rebuild of the Belle-Freeman Amusement Pier, developer The Mabie Group has planned the pool club, multi-tier bar and restaurant and a proposed venue.
Rethinking the next phase
As the structures have been taking shape, officials in both Seaside Heights and Seaside Park have been saying they want to ensure the property supports rebranding efforts as a family-friendly destination, as reported by the Asbury Park Press.
Part of that would be what entertainers are booked at the planned venue, the same report said.
There’s even more concerns over the developer's mentions of a helipad, which has been pitched as an emergency resource while also providing quick access for performers arriving from Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Newark or New York, according to a report from NJ.com.
Residents of neighboring Seaside Park already have been asking officials whether approval for a landing spot might lead to helicopters creating noise and flying close to homes or the beach, the same report said.
What's in a club membership
For the Ocean Club, “Level 2” cabanas add in a a kitchenette, a toilet, private balcony lounge area, indoor dining area and flatscreen TV — for a total $22,500 a year.
Up to three families are allowed on a seasonal lease. Each family can be a maximum of four people, and no more than six people are supposed to be in each cabana at a time, according to the website.
Cabana rentals also include access to restrooms/common showers, poolside and beach food/beverage service, banquet facilities for weddings and events, and access to the restaurant.