Written By: Josh Gray | Photography By: Kit Noble
Belly up to The Sandbar, the newest eatery to hit Jetties Beach.
No matter the time of day or the weather coming in off the island’s north shore, it’s hard to beat the setting of the Sandbar at Jetties Beach. A haven for those looking for great food while enjoying a quintessential Nantucket backdrop, this new eatery is focused on quality and patron experience.
The restaurant has a casual atmosphere, and the moderately priced menu is complete with a variety of coastal essentials like fried clams, lobster rolls, and an array of local and Cape Cod oysters. Sandbar’s bar fare includes burgers, shoestring French fries, and a special take on the grilled cheese sandwich.
Nantucket native George Kelly and long-time summer resident Nick Nass opened the restaurant this season. The two friends and entrepreneurs, both in their mid-thirties, jumped at the opportunity to start their own place after each spent years working in a handful of high-end establishments on the island, including The Pearl, Cru, and The Nautilus.
“We both loved where we were working before, but the ability to go out on our own is exciting and fulfilling,” says Kelly. Nass adds, “It’s always been a goal of mine to open my own spot one day, control the patron experience, and really make it a special place.”
Drawing upon their friendships and contacts made through the years, the two business partners have brought with them a who’s who of front-of-house and kitchen staff, including a line-up of well-known island bartenders and The Pearl’s former sous-chef Emmanuel “Manny” Rojas. “We are so excited Manny joined us,” says Kelly. “He cares so much about the food, from the smallest aspect of the menu to the biggest. It’s going to be great because he believes his name is behind everything that comes out of the kitchen.”
The Sandbar’s reception thus far has been as warm as the sand just outside their doors, with patrons raving about the fish tacos, the hearty fried clam po’ boy, and the daily buck-a-shuck, featuring oysters and clams on the half shell. Behind the bar, a new variety of frozen cocktails are making a slushy splash, with a “frozé” (frozen rosé) and a special drink collaboration made with Cisco Brewers’ Triple Eight vodka.
Whether seated inside at one of the many picnic-style tables or on the beach patio, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Evenings highlight Nantucket’s gorgeous sunsets, while patrons can take full advantage of the midday summer heat by grabbing a chair and a cocktail on the sand that leads up to Jetties Beach. On this picturesque island, the Sandbar is one tasty slice of paradise.