Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Off the Deck at the new Bay Shores

Playing on the deck at Baia restaurant, on the dry side of the railing.

From off the Deck and into the Water at the New Bay Shores

It wasn't much of a story but it certainly is interesting, especially coming a few days after a Texas Ranger fan fell to his death reaching over a railing for a foul ball.

The ominous headline read:

Man Injured in fall from Waterfront restaurant deck in Somers Point.

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011

By SARAH WATSON, Staff Writer

Somers Point, NJ. A Somers Point man was injured Sunday night after he fell over a railing at the Baia restaurant.

Lt. Michael Sweeney said that Somers Point police, fire and emergency medical crews arrived at the restaurant just before 11 p.m. and found that Larry Capua, 30, of Somers Point, had fallen about 12 feet down to the water. However, Sweeney said, it was low tide and there was only about 10 inches of water. Sweeney said Capua was alert and oriented, but taken to Shore Memorial Hospital with unknown injuries.

Thank you for that reports Sharon. Four clean, clear and crisp sentences that would have made Hemingway proud.

The Baia, if you believe everything you read on the internet, is an upscale radical Italian restaurant, actually called "Baia Twisted Italian Cuisine" - 998 Bay Ave. Somers Point, NJ 08244-2310, and is totally wired so you can Phone 609-926-9611 Fax: 609-926-6325, mapquest http://classic.mapquest.com/maps?city=Somers+Point&state=NJ and facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Verdictisin/343991341450

But for those who need a GPS and are uninitiated to Somers Point, the Baia restaurant is the Old Waterfront, built on the site of the legendary Bay Shores nightclub, and Sunday night is Island Nite, the best night of the week to be there, a decades long tradition that keeps on dancing.

While some other bands liven the place up on other nights of the week, Sunday night is Island Nite, and what used to be Bay Shores and Waterfront Deck continues to be an island reggae dance party that really rocks and sometimes gets out of hand.

While the story was short, the Press of Atlantic City readers contributed some eyewitness reports and analysis that indicated how interesting the story really is.

Among the Reader's Response:

Dominic Russo • Intern at Metro Commute wrote: "He didn't fall, I saw it happen from 10 feet away. I was at a table when he pulled off his shirt, moved a table by the end of the deck, yelled some nonesense, ran and jumped headfirst over the railing. restaurant isn't at fault. this newspaper is a joke and needs to learn how to get their facts straight."

Daniel Horn • Psi Institute: "My wife fell over a missing railing, they had removed it, 'because it ruined the view'."

Chris Sutton-DogTrainer • Friends with (Somers Point Mayor) Jack Glasser - "What about personal responsibility? How many people have NOT fallen over the railings compared to those who have?"

Joann Barnett Norton • Works at East Penn School District - "Sounds like another crazy weekender...."

Indeed Joann, it does sound like a crazy Weekend Warrior, but the story says he's a local Somers Point guy, and it appears that he is.

In any case, he wasn't there for the food, which they say is good, and self-described
by Ed BOnsignore, Jr and Sean Weinberg as "traditional Italian cuisine as well as an eclectic flair an flavor."

The band, Verdict, who describe themselves as having "...been rocking the house from venues as varied as the fabled Stone Pony in Asbury Park to the NFL Owners Meeting at the Super Bowl in Miami. Their polished energy has been fed from the wide ranging experiences of jamming with Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder (what a surreal moment to have Johnny whispering the lyrics to Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” in Stevie’s ear since he didn’t know the second verse by heart), to performing “Stir it Up” and Chick Corea’s “Spain” with Prince Ali of Iran sitting in on drums."

"Their passion is colored by opening for legends such as Sting and Madonna at the Gianni Versace memorial concert, to running for their lives as a near riot breaks out at a block party in Bensonhurst. The band’s undeniable talent brought this American based band the honor of performing at Carnival in Trinidad, appearances on network TV, and even a junket entertaining the legions of the Republican National Committee."

"The story continues as does their unending quest to play the transcendent jam, create the perfect moment, and revel in the shared experience with you, the fans. Be there where the next chapter is written in the Verdict odyssey."

Verdict has been rocking the deck at the Point now for many years, since at least when it was called the Waterfront, the first incarnation after the Bay Shores era (1920s-1980s).

The Bay Shores was purchased by attorney Harris Berman, who also bought and raised Tony Marts across the street. In place of Bay Shores Berman built the Waterfront resturant and where Tony Marts used to be he built Egos Disco.

Berman then sold the Waterfront to real estate guru Jay Lamont, and Egos to someone who renamed it Crazy Janes before it became Key West, and then went to the guys who owned the Brownies chain of college bars in suburban Philly. Dr. Ira Trocki bought the distressed Brownies property and moved the liquor license down the street to the old Ernie's Marina that John Mayer had gone broke fixing up. The old Egos building now sits empty and boarded up.

Eventually Jay Lamont sold the Waterfront and it changed names a few times too, and if anybody can remember them all, I will die happy, but the most recent one before Baia was Marty Grimes' The Inlet.

While it was Inlet, Rebecca Grite visited the place and named Verdict "The Band of the Week" for her story (in the Press of AC) that you can read in full here: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/ats/night_life/article_c5d5f04d-5c19-5971-98b6-7331def20635.html.

"If you're looking for the verdict on great live entertainment guaranteed to get you into a summertime mood," Rebecca reports, "then you're looking for a night out with The Verdict, a Caribbean-style band that performs live every Sunday this summer, at the Rum Runner Bar, The Inlet at 988 Bay Ave. in Somers Point."

She quotes drummer Johnny Youth as saying, "The Verdict is good at working a crowd. We have dance moves that we tell the crowd to do, and we get everybody going."

"People in the past have called us a reggae band, but we're really more of a Caribbean band," he says. "We touch on all the islands of the Caribbean. Our sound is very conducive to dancing; we'll have a slow reggae song, but we'll pick it up to be high-tempo with the Latin and soca, so there's something there for everyone."

Originally out of Jamaica, that's Jamaica, New York, they describe themselves as a real Caribbean band that mixes the genres of reggae, Latin and soca, a blend of soul and calypso.

"Southern New Jersey is great," Youth says. "When you play this part of New Jersey, you get more people from different parts of the Northeast - you get Philly people, you get people from different parts of Pennsylvania, which is good to broaden our fanbase. New Jersey has great crowds, and in the summer, they're always dancing. They let us do what we come to do - have fun."

Besides Youth, a real Jersey Guy on drums and lead vocals, there's Parry Jack from St. Vincent on keyboards, Raga from Trinidad plays guitar and sings, Panamanian Marcelino Thompson plays bass and sings, and Matt Elison plays congas.

One of Verdict's more popular songs is "Summertime Again," which is available on the internet on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShSuRFFdRBs, and you can hook up with them at their web site www.verdictisin.com, or on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/verdictisin or facebook www.facebook.com/verdictisin.

But Before there was Verdict, there was Dr. Cheeko, the band that started Island Nite on Sunday Nite at the Waterfront.

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