Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella has a bone to pick with the longtime boardwalk business, Martell’s Tiki Bar.
During the May 5 Council meeting, Barrella addressed a concern with obstruction on the boardwalk allegedly involving Martell's.
Barrella explained that during his participation as a judge in the borough’s Easter Parade, he noticed a public section of the boardwalk confined by Martell’s. According to Barrella, Martell’s has set up tables and fenced off an area of the boardwalk that is paid for by taxpayers.
“They do not have authority to use that property without authorization,” Barrella said of Martell’s.
The mayor suggested that Martell’s be informed of their obstruction of
the public boardwalk, and called on the council to act accordingly.
Council members questioned whether a definitive line of demarcation exists, which would mark Martell’s area on the boardwalk.
A borough resident at the meeting interjected that the demarcation line ends at the front door of Martell’s, as adopted in a 2010 ordinance.
In an attempt to refrain from what he called “nuclear action,” Councilman Stephen Reid suggested engaging in an ongoing dialogue with Martell’s owners over the next two weeks, and reporting back at the next municipal meeting.
Councilman Thomas Vogel and others agreed that a discussion with management rather than attorney involvement, would be the most productive route.
Mayor Barrella’s final remarks in the meeting continued to reflect an apprehension with the popular Tiki Bar.
Barrella requested the borough obtain an autopsy report of Ashley Chieco, a 26-year-old who had been drinking for nearly five hours at Martell’s Tiki Bar before driving a stolen car into oncoming traffic in Old Bridge, where she collided head on with another vehicle.
Chieco, who authorities say was driving with a blood-alcohol level higher than double the legal limit, was killed in the August 2013 crash. An attorney for a woman severely injured in the collision, has since filed a lawsuit against Martell’s owners.