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Seaside Heights Bar, Restaurant Proposes Expansive Rooftop Section Over Three Businesses

Spicy Cantina (Credit: Spicy Cantina/Facebook)

Spicy Cantina (Credit: Spicy Cantina/Facebook)

A popular oceanfront restaurant and bar on the Seaside Heights boardwalk has proposed building a expansive outdoor rooftop bar over three businesses, including its own roof area.

Spicy Cantina, located on the boardwalk at Sumner Avenue, has submitted an application to the Seaside Heights planning board seeking approval to add a second story rooftop restaurant and bar, and expanded seating area for Spicy’s, over the current restaurant, the Coin Castle arcade and the Midway bar – all of which are located in the same large building that spans a block at 500 Boardwalk.

Spicy’s has long been known as one of the boardwalk’s most popular eateries and watering holes, occasionally hosting celebrity clientele ranging from members of the “Jersey Shore” cast to Kim Kardashian. It features a Mexican cantina restaurant and bar combined with a traditional boardwalk-style menu, as well as nightly entertainment.

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According to a notice filed with the board, the restaurant has proposed a second story rooftop restaurant and bar, and expanded seating area for Spicy’s. The proposed rooftop improvements would be located above the existing Midway bar and restaurant, and the Coin Castle arcade.

The 18,239 square foot property is located in the Resort Recreational zone and will have to win votes from a supermajority of planning board members to gain approval. The most significant hurdle will be obtaining a use, or “D” variance, which represents the expansion of an existing, but non-conforming, use of a property in the zone. There are also several more routine “bulk” variances requiring a simple majority, including minimum rear yard setbacks of 0.2-feet and 1.37-feet where 10-feet is normally required, no side yard setback where 3-feet is required, and no off-street parking spaces to be provided – an existing condition that is not unusual when dealing with boardwalk businesses.

Spicy’s, which carries the legal name AFW 500, LLC, is scheduled to present its application to the board at its March 25, 2024 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the municipal courtroom above the firehouse at the George E. Tompkins Municipal Complex, 116 Sherman Avenue.

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