Twisties Tavern on the Bay
Closed for the 2021 season
Opening in April 2022
A Strathmere Tradition for 92 Years
All it takes is a drive by this popular bayfront tavern to realize that you’ve come across a bit of nostalgia. The red shingled building, sitting lengthwise from Bayview Drive to the Strathmere Bay, looks almost exactly as it did during Prohibition when Harold Charleston was running the operations. He was assisted by his wife Gert and the establishment was known as “The Strathmere Inn Café.” Its windows were covered, as was the custom for speakeasies in those days. Legend has it that Twisties operated as a speakeasy from 1929 to 1933.
It is rumored that Al Capone himself once visited and that Gert lent Al’s wife a dress so that she could go fishing. In fact, the owners started collecting fish. Soon, the walls were covered with barracuda, sailfish, moray eels and grouper, each mounted on its own wooden plaque. The Charlestons were responsible for acquiring the numerous coconut heads that sit in soffits today high above the bar. Each head, carved by the Seminole Indians, was unique and they were brought back from Florida by the Charlestons during their annual winter visits.
In the 1950’s, the establishment changed hands. The new owners, Jimmy and Rose Twist, were Philadelphia natives who transplanted themselves into the quiet, beautiful surroundings of Strathmere. They operated a full scale restaurant with Rose doing most of the cooking and Jimmy tending bar. This little bayside café attached locals and tourists alike with all Italian foods cooked to order! The tavern once again changed hands in the early 1970’s. A local realtor, Marty Riordan, purchased the tavern and renamed the establishment the “Bayview Inn”. By now, the Bayview Inn had become a nostalgic place to visit for old timers and a “must see” place for baby boomers who had heard about the popular “red building on the bay.”
In 2000, Marty’s son Gary and his wife Denise took over the operations of the much‐loved tavern. They appropriately renamed it “Twisties Tavern On the Bay.” The paneled walls, the coconut heads, the mounted fish and the hardwood bar remain. The jukebox still has the old tunes with some new ones mixed in. It continues to be a relaxed place to visit, where people from all different professions come together to socialize and enjoy fantastic food and drinks (Zagat recommended) and take in amazing sunsets.
In the media
The sun has set on this Labor Day but shore towns are not going dark. In Strathmere, shore goers enjoyed a holiday evening outdoors at Twisties Tavern on the Bay.