There will indeed be a 2022 season at The Clam Bar in Somers Point, N.J., said co-owner Patrice Popovic, and the landmark seafood shack popularly known as Smitty’s will reopen Mother’s Day weekend.
Its longtime future was cast into doubt last fall when the property’s owner, a trust representing the heirs of founders Bill and Claudia Smith, put the marina up for sale. The property is still on the market.
The Clam Bar will open for indoor dining in 2022 and will serve dinner every day except for Tuesday. In 2020 and 2021, it was open for takeout. Last summer, tables were placed out front.
» READ MORE: From 2021: Future of Smitty's is cast into doubt
Smitty’s opened in the 1960s. Popovic started at Smitty’s in 1974 during her summer off from Pennsylvania State University, where she met and fell in love with her now-husband, owner Peter Popovic, who had taken over the year before with friend Denis Dixon, who has since died. Relatives Angelo DeRosa and Todd Simpson now handle the bulk of the day-to-day work. Most of the previous staff will be back, Patrice Popovic said.
In Smitty’s earlier summers, it was open 24 hours a day, driven by New Jersey’s 18-year-old drinking age and the absence of casinos just 15 minutes away in Atlantic City.