Klee's Bar & Grill
The Full Story
In 1913, Ursula and Daniel Klee came to Seaside Heights from Philadelphia with two of their four children Andrew and Dorothy. Later Margaret and Henry arrived, but were born in Newark, as there were no established hospitals here at that time. Daniel obtained employment as a painter and Ursula opened a dry goods store at their residence, 49 Dupont Avenue. In 1925, Daniel became Borough Superintendent and held that position until 1928.
At that time they purchased the site where Klee's Bar stands now. The purpose of the building was for a larger dry goods store.
In 1931, the garage apartment was built and became their residence and 49 Dupont Avenue was sold. During that year a small section of the store became a Speakeasy. Then, later in 1931, a law was passed to sell "Near Beer" and the first license was issued to Klee's. It was then decided to partition the store into two businesses, the north side became a bar and the south remained the dry goods store. The two businesses were crowding each other, so a building next to the bar was constructed to house the dry goods store. This was completed in 1932, and with the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the business became Klee's Bar & Grille. The bar remained on the same side and a restaurant was started on the other side.
The Pennsylvania Railroad started running excursions to Seaside Heights from Philadelphia with as many as five trains, each with seven to twelve coaches. As a result, the restaurant did very well. You could purchase a full course turkey dinner for the price of 50 cents. The summers were much like it is today, mostly vacationers. The winter business was from the men of the Coast Guard and Navy personnel from Lakehurst Air Station attached to the Airship Akron.
After the summer of 1940, the restaurant was discontinued. Shuffleboard and dart games were added with music on weekends. Daniel and Ursula continued to operate the business until Andrew and Henry returned home from the service. It was in the fall of 1945 that their partnership was formed. After remodeling during the winter, they were ready for the spring rush. Andrew retired in 1969 and Henry continued until 1978 when he retired, selling to the present owners.
Since 1978, Klee's Bar & Grill has had many changes. In 1990, Klee's underwent a major face-lift to help accommodate the growing business. June 1996, we opened an additional room upstairs to help seat our customers. It is also used for private parties. The present owners have taken pride in keeping with the Klee's tradition of a friendly neighborhood tavern.
Now Klee's customers come from many towns around to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, good conversation and a variety of homecooked foods.