BELMAR — Memorial Day Weekend is still a few weeks away, but for the many people who will flock to Belmar during the summer, a key piece of the boardwalk destroyed by superstorm Sandy reopened on Monday.

With Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker along with Rep. Frank Pallone in attendance, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new Taylor Pavilion. According to the town the new pavilion is 6,800 square feet and will be the home to not only "beachfront operations," but also as a space for events and meetings.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty told New Jersey 101.5 the ceremony was "milestone," not just for the town but for the state as a whole. The mayor credited a team effort with helping the project reach fruition.

"It was very important not only to our community but also the whole state of new Jersey to have the Taylor Pavilion reopened to the public," he said. "It really was a bipartisan multi-level team effort."

That team, he said, included not only the officials who attended the ceremony, but also help from Gov. Chris Christie and the Department of Environmental Protection.

"The most important thing is putting the needs of the community first, putting in a bipartisan effort, and getting it done," he said.

Beachgoers will also be able to get food at the pavilion, including at the new Cruz Bay Cafe.

The new pavilion comes five years after the previous incarnation was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Last January, the Belmar Mayor and Council awarded a $5.45 million contract for the construction of the Taylor Pavilion as well as the Howard Rowland Public Safety Pavilion further down the boardwalk at 10th Avenue.

The planned construction has not always been universally embraced. A lawsuit was brought by residents looking to stop the work, concerned about taxpayer expenditures, but the effort ultimately proved unsuccessful.

According to the Asbury Park Press $2.4 million in federal funds were used to build the new pavilionm with the rest coming from local funding. A referendum to build the pavilion initially failed in 2014, while a second attempt passed a year later by 20 votes.

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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