I’ve written about
Belmar’s Lake Como’s famous Bar A before. Like how it’s the perfect place to hang out on those hot summer nights. And how whether you’re a guido, hipster, hippie, frat boy or nerd, you can call this place home. And how I implored those who have never been there to check it out.
After going there for the first time in 2012 last weekend, I take that all back.
The place has just changed so drastically since I started going six years ago. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but Bar A’s trademark sand volley ball court, right in the middle of the outdoor section, is now populated by stupid-looking faux beach cabanas. While the intention was to make it look like a Miami bar, they still don’t hide the truth that you’re in New Jersey on a reconfigured volleyball court. In the old days (like three years ago) the volley ball court was a nice respite from the crowds of sweaty Jersey Shore-ians fist pumping to bad techno music – it was dark and quiet, with just a few cheap plastic chairs scattered around. Now you’re lucky if you can find any chair in the entire bar – unless you pay for it.
In the past, there were tables and chairs scattered all over the place. Today, all those tables are now quarantined off into various VIP sections where you have to fork over $400 for the privilege of sitting. Sure, you might get lucky and find a spot on the ledge surrounding the landscaping – until one of the Magilla Gorilla bouncers shoes you off. And, as happened to me last summer, those bouncers won’t just throw you off the ledge, they’ll physically remove you from the bar if you don’t play by their stupid, biased rules.
What troubled me most about my recent visit is their new stamping policy. You know the drill – if you need to leave a bar, you get your hand stamped so you can get back in without having to pay the ridiculous $10 cover. Well, on this last visit, I had to leave for a bit and planned on coming back. When I got to the exit, I presented the back of my hand to the bouncer, expecting to be stamped in this typical spot. I was then instructed to turn my arm over, and received my stamp.
As I walked out of the bar, I looked at my arm and was shocked – the stamp wasn’t the typical star, or smiley face, or whatever. It was a bunch of random numbers. On my forearm. You don’t have to be Jewish to understand how offensive this is.
Bar A has always run a tight ship – I just had no idea that ship was a U-Boat full of Nazis. Tan, greasy, bulked-up-on-steroids Nazis.