The legend is back—sort of—in a new and different form.
Who doesn’t remember dancing the nights away at Lido Beach’s Malibu Nightclub back in the ’80s? The many rooms were once plied with partying Long Islanders who traveled far and wide to see the hottest musicians—everyone from Joan Jett to U2. Malibu was run by the Grecco brothers, who set out in 1979 to create a club unlike any other on the Island that would invite a diverse group, with one room dedicated to disco and another to alternative music. The nighttime hangout became notorious for drawing enormous crowds…until the mid ’90s, when it closed its doors for good.
Malibu eventually ended up under the direction of Butch Yamali of the Dover Group, and remained an exclusive beach club, the Malibu Shore Club, offering guests exclusive cabana memberships and private beach access.
This past month, Yamali unveiled a very exciting addition: the new Maliblue Oyster Bar. The restaurant aims to bring back the old crowd by adopting the mantra, “We traded our dancing shoes for a bucket of oysters.”
For Yamali, Maliblue was an important investment. “Yamali wanted to bring back the old times, but bring back the entire family,” says Brian Rosenberg, director of public relations at the Dover Group. “It’s funny—one story went, ‘Mommy met Daddy there 20 years ago.’”
Maliblue opened to the public for the first time this past Saturday with the original bar still intact.
“You can drink where Billy Joel once had a drink,” says Yamali. “We also have the original Malibu logo on the wall in mosaic.”
Maliblue Oyster Bar has a very South Beach feel, and looks more like a resort with a baby-blue floor, washed driftwood on the walls, and river stones lined below the bar for a footrest. Not to mention the exotic plants throughout. “I flew to Florida and shipped back palm trees and exotic plants,” says Yamali.
The restaurant (open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) offers patrons indoor space, consisting of two rooms that feature a wave wall and blue lights, and an outdoor brick patio that can accommodate around 90 people.
Maliblue Chef Chris Seidl (sous chef at the former Trattachino in Wantagh and also Babylon Carriage House) serves up culinary pleasure to please any palate for an equally pleasing price.
The clever menu looks similar to the old lineup at Malibu with entrees named after local music legends like Billy Joel and Joan Jett. The “Billy Joel Linguini & Clams” comes with “a bowl of red or a bowl of white” ($13). The “Joan Jett Lobster Rock & Roll” consists of fresh steamed lobster, celery, mayo and sliced avocado on a roll served with a side of French fries or coleslaw ($13). For a little extra, patrons can opt for “The Tower of Power” ($19), which comes with little neck clams, oysters, jumbo shrimp and crab legs.
“We have a raw bar that allows people to view the fresh fish, clams, oysters and lobsters that we have,” says Yamali.
For drinks, choices include Maliblue Sunset, a tequila-and-pineapple juice mix; Mojo Rising Mojito, featuring citrus and orange rums, a splash of seltzer and muddled fresh mint. Mali-U2 Sour is another choice cocktail; it’s a tasty whiskey sour. (All cocktails are $8; top-shelf add $2.)
Time for dessert? Who are you kidding? There’s always time for dessert, if it’s this good. You’ll surely want to stick around at Maliblue where dessert offerings range from fruit to cake. In fact, may we recommend the famed Junior’s Cheesecake ($5)? Yum. Dancing days are here again!
1500 Lido Beach Blvd, Lido Beach