Oktoberfest

Fall Into Oktoberfest at The Mainland’s Beer Garden

Oct 04, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Looking for a colorful but cozy place to kick back and enjoy Oktoberfest – a tradition dating back to 19th-century Munich – with family and friends? You don’t have to go far, just to The Mainland Restaurant and Beer Garden at the Holiday Inn on Route 72. It’s one of those hidden-in-plain-sight places you may have overlooked while speeding past on your way to the beach.

Decked out in warm autumn colors with pumpkins and corn stalks, the outdoor space is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends as the temperatures dip. Filled with snug seating vignettes, complete with a fire pit and picnic-style tables, the Beer Garden offers a casual and laid-back atmosphere for after-work drinks, a Saturday afternoon with family, or football Sunday with friends. There are four 72-inch mounted televisions to keep track of what’s happening on the field.

“It’s the only bar where you can bring your kids,” said Samantha Reilly, general manager of The Mainland Restaurant and Beer Garden. “There are a ton of games that are perfect for families.”

From the bocce ball court to the corn-hole toss, a nine-hole putting green with a sand box, and a half basketball court with glow-in-the-dark balls, The Beer Garden, which opened in the spring, has something for everyone.

“We’re trying to stay open all year,” Reilly said, “weather permitting.”

Even as overnight temperatures plunge, Reilly has set aside blankets in the food shack so guests can swaddle themselves for extra warmth while enjoying seasonal craft beers from local breweries, a $5 app menu especially for Sunday football, and live music every Thursday through Saturday.

Reilly hasn’t settled on her favorite local craft beers for the season yet, so she’s trying new things and changing it up a bit. But that’s OK with her.

“Our craft beer selection is growing as we grow,” she said, noting she and her staff are listening to what the customers are saying.

A food shack in the Beer Garden allows customers to order from a bar menu. A server will bring the food directly to the table. If it’s full service you want, though, you can get that inside at The Mainland Restaurant, which offers entrees as well.

“I’d like to see the interior be part of the Beer Garden,” Reilly said, noting there is a bar in the restaurant where outside guests can order drinks if they don’t want to wait.

For now, the Beer Garden, which is as much for locals as it is for hotel guests, is a perfect outdoor find to hang out with family and friends. If you think you need a reason to drop by, let it be the Oct. 27 Halloween costume party. There will be a costume contest, but guests shouldn’t wear masks or overly dramatic face painting, Reilly said. All attendees will be carded, she noted.

The Beer Garden is open from 4 to10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 2 to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with $4 house wine and well drinks, half off domestic beers, and $5 Titos and Fireball.

Gina G. Scala

ggscala@thesandpaper.net

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