Cape May, NJ

Harry's Ocean Bar and Grille in Cape May Hires New Chef

Marilyn Johnson

Harry's Ocean Bar and Grille located at 1025 Beach Avenue in Cape May, NJ, is firing up exciting changes in and out of the kitchen for the summer of 2022. The ocean-side dining destination and sprawling ocean-side roof deck, located directly next to The Montreal Beach Resort, is proud to introduce new ownership and a new top chef in the kitchen.

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Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille at The Montreal Beach Resort in Cape May, NJ.(Courtesy of Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille)

One of the longest family-owned and operated businesses in Cape May, the Montreal Beach Resort and Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grille have finally changed hands after 56 years in business. The new owner is Madison Resorts, a locally owned hospitality management company headed by property operations veteran Dan Alicea, who has previously worked in the local market, as well as led the revitalization of two historic resorts on the east coast.

Harry's and Madison Resorts is proud to introduce new Executive Chef Jim Maugeri who now leads the culinary team and has developed a new menu of shore and seafood favorites.

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Executive Chef Jim Maugeri of Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille in Cape May, NJ.(Courtesy of Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille)

Maugeri brings 25 years of culinary experience that started when he was a teenager and he has worked his way up through culinary and hospitality programs his entire life. He has been an Executive Chef since 2007, leading kitchens, developing menus, analyzing demographics to see our price points and cuisine, and developing life-long relationships in and out of the kitchens and dining rooms along the East Coast.

Maugeri grew up in Lacey Township, NJ, and started working in LBI at age 16 washing dishes at Raimondo's in Surf City. He attended Brick Vocational Technical School for two years in the culinary arts program. Upon graduating high school he attended Johnson and Wales University from 2000-2002. While attending Johnson and Wales he was employed at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville Connecticut. He then went on to work at Antoinetta's in West Creek NJ which sits on the water overlooking LBI. He worked there for two years honing his skills and developing a great rapport with the locals.

His next stop would be at Under the Moon Café in Bordentown NJ. He was employed there for ten years as their executive chef, excelling the business to new levels and also assisting in the opening of their second location in Lambertville. He was the Executive Chef at both properties and he would split his time accordingly. While employed there in 2016 they received a Zagat rating of 27.

"I'm excited to serve and host thousands of people a week this summer," said Maugeri. "I spent the last few weeks getting to know our locals, neighbors, and guests of The Montreal. I am excited to meet and cook for even more guests as the height of summer comes upon us. I thrive when things get busy and I get to do what I love each and every day. The early feedback from guests has been so positive, and it's going to be a summer I will never forget."
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New menu at Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille in Ocean City, NJ.(Courtesy of Harry's Ocean Bar & Grille)
When asked about the new menu and inspiration, Chef said, "The menu is a combination of my passion for seafood, local sourcing, and Harry's beach favorites. I wanted to add depth to our seafood offerings and provide a balance of land items, and gluten-free and vegetarian dishes too. My goal was to bring the menu up to a new level while having elevated dishes alongside accessible crowd pleasers. There's a great mix of sandwiches, burgers and handhelds, starters, and more elaborate entrees. But my passion in the kitchen is in working with seafood - I love working with all different types of fish including swordfish, seabass, halibut, shrimp, etc., and pairing them with fresh herbs and gastriques. Seafood offers a plethora of opportunities and lets me get creative. Plus, watch for our culinary team to shine with weekly specials."

Other news for the summer includes expanded hours, breakfast service, room service for Montreal guests, weekly food specials, beach food service, and more.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; phillygrubtrips@gmail.com for travel tips and opportunities.

Philadelphia, PA
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