I’ve been a Springsteen fan since… well, I won’t say the year I fell in love with his music because it’s really going to age me. But I’ll tell you, I’ve been visiting Wonder Bar in Asbury Park since it opened in 2002.
Wonder Bar is such a unique place it could only work in Asbury Park. It’s a favorite of locals and visitors alike, offering live music, food and great drinks. Yes, in the light of day, it feels a little…well, is crummy the right word? But don’t be fooled. The Wonder Bar is magical.
Whether you’re having fun on the dance floor or enjoying a cool drink on the spacious outdoor patio, this is an amazing place to listen to original Jersey Shore live music. It has always been associated with local legends like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Clarence Clemons and many more.
And this weekend was special: it’s the 20th anniversary. Co-owner, Debbie DeLisa was proud to post a special message from Bruce Springsteen on her Facebook page, congratulating her and co-owner Lance Larson, another Jersey Shore music legend, on Sunday, July 31.
In it, Bruce said: “Hey Debbie, I just want to congratulate you on 20 years of Wonder Bar, a fabulous institution in Asbury Park. We need you, we love you – have another great 20. Bye-bye.
And just to make the birthday weekend extra special, Bruce showed up at Wonder Bar in person, shooting a congratulatory video with Debbie, which was shared widely on Twitter.
There were special shows all weekend to commemorate the occasion, ending with original E-Street band member Vini Lopez and the Wonderful Winos, joined by former bandmate and co-owner Durant Gunner Lance Larson.
The Wonder Bar is dog-friendly and famous for Debbie’s brainstorm, Yappy Hour, which takes place weekly during the summer season where you can relax on the outdoor deck and enjoy food and drinks while your pup is having fun in a large fenced area. .
There are swimming pools, an agility course and a special “time out” area for those who need to relax. Dogs of all sizes are welcome from Thursday to Sunday, and small dogs have their turn on Monday.
The bar’s outer deck is named “Tillie’s Landing” after Tillie, a smiling mural that originally stood on the side of Palace Amusements.
Wonder Bar is a major city landmark and loved not only by Bruce Springsteen, but by people (and puppies) from all over New Jersey, who travel far and near to experience the unique experience of WonderBar. As Bruce said, here are the next 20!
The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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