Former Van Halen Frontman Sammy Hagar Exits Sammy’s Beach Bum Bar in Atlantic City


In happier days, a garrulous, wild-haired Sammy Hagar chatted with a reporter about an upcoming show with Sammy’s Beach Bum Bar & Grill as backdrop. “Rum’s the best mixer on the planet,” he says, as a casino executive looks on approvingly. Beware of seemingly friendly guys in suits, Sammy!

Operated by Sammy Hagar but owned by Bally’s Casino via Caesar’s Entertainment, Sammy’s Beach Bum Bar & Grill was a fixture on the Atlantic City Boardwalk for the last three summers. In fact, it was the only outdoor bar actually situated on sand, between the boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean. It was a relatively large place, with about 60 tables, and waitresses dressed in hot pants. A loud rock soundtrack blared from speaker horns overhead. The specialty of the place was tall drinks served in colorful plastic glasses with umbrellas in them, with fried tidbits as the main bar snacks. The place seemed more like it belonged in Florida or California.

Sammy’s Beach Bum Bar & Grill was the only place in AC you could actually sit on the beach.

Now Eater National reports that Hagar has pulled out of the operation, with the implication that he and Bally’s couldn’t come to an agreement in the post-Sandy era about how to repair the badly damage outdoor bar. But don’t worry about where to get that beachside mai tai, Bally’s will be reopening the bar this summer — without Hagar. Chalk it up to the slow downward spiral of the casino city, or maybe it was just Sammy.

Here’s part of Hagar’s statement:

Following months of ongoing discussions, Sammy Hagar has regretfully been unable to come to terms with Caesars Entertainment on the rebuilding of the Sammy Beach Bar & Grill at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. Since opening in May 2010, the restaurant had been a popular boardwalk destination until it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. While Hagar continues to explore a new partnership in the region, he and his Hagar Family Foundation will remain committed to the Atlantic City community through which he has supported local children’s charities for the last several years.

Sometimes known as the Red Rocker, Hagar served as frontman for the band Van Halen from 1985 to 1996.