There are many great saloons, bars, taverns, and inns here in New Jersey and I am proud to say I have had the pleasure of walking through the doors of most of them.

Asbury Park dubbed 2nd best US beach, Asbury construction 2018
Asbury Park dubbed 2nd best US beach (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)

Mashed, the online foodie resource that has news, recipes, and polls its staff and subscribers, recently named the Best Bars in Monmouth County, then went on to say that The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park was the best bar in New Jersey.

I can understand why they voted for The Wonder Bar as it’s also one of my favorite bars here in Jersey. It is a bar that is full of history and most of all fittingly nestled in the heart of “where music lives” Asbury Park.

New Jersey Marathon runners pass the iconic Wonder Bar sign in Asbury Park in 2013
New Jersey Marathon runners pass the iconic Wonder Bar sign in Asbury Park in 2013 (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Walk into the Wonder Bar and the staff is friendly and efficient and it’s no wonder, (no pun intended) because it’s run by Lance Larson, who was and still is a part of the upper ring of music royalty here in Jersey — and Debbie DeLisa who is gracious and welcoming with her personality and she remains the best friend an animal can have, giving so much of her time and money to animal rescues and their care.

Debbie created a yappy hour where you can bring your dog to the Wonder Bar and sip your favorite beverage and enjoy the outdoor tiki bar. The yappy hour is well-liked and well attended.

Bruce Springsteen on stage at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen on stage at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park (Tom Cunningham, Townsquare Media NJ)

The music at The Wonder Bar has been a showcase for some of New Jersey’s finest including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Clarence Clemons, and Bobby Bandiera.

A couple of years ago immediately before COVID-19 Bruce Springsteen showed up at a show I was hosting with Bobby Bandiera and he was dancing with his mom Adele.

Dennis Malloy photo
Dennis Malloy photo

The Wonder Bar is the kind of place where you can grab a couple of cold ones with your friends, bring your dog and enjoy some of the best music that Jersey has to offer. I don’t know of any other establishment here in New Jersey that has all those entertainment choices.

I have hosted many charities at the Wonder Bar and Debbie and Lance have been gracious in opening their doors to many great causes. The Wonder Bar is an icon in the same vein as its sister bar down the street The Stone Pony.

Asbury Park beach at sunrise
Asbury Park beach at sunrise (Lou Russo, Townsquare Media NJ)

Enjoy the Wonder Bar and make it a must-stop on your next trip to Asbury Park.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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