Okay, so sand is everywhere. You're on the beach, what would you expect?
Prices are a little high. You're on the beach, you're going to pay for it.
Service is a little slow. You're on the beach, laid back is the rule here.
Sandy's Lighthouse is an unpretentious beach bar/restaurant/live music venue, surrounded by sand, right next to busy Atlantic Avenue, where a constant stream of cars, motorcycles, bicycles, bikini clad women, and beach bums, create an endless show for people watchers. Hurricane Sandy damaged this restaurant in 2012, along with other businesses and homes along Rhode Island beaches, but they bounced back and are now conducting business as usual.
Beach life is easygoing, and Sandy's is a great spot to relax and enjoy life. The patio is the perfect place to sit, eat, have a beer, and enjoy the salt air, beach atmosphere and the view. It was just the place we were looking for on a warm, early July evening.
We arrived at a slow time, early enough to beat the night crowd, and ahead of the weekend beach crush. Although Sandy's wasn't crowded, we seem to have caught them off guard with our large party of ten. We ordered food and drinks – mostly lobster rolls, French fries, coleslaw, beer, and sodas, and settled down to enjoy the nice weather and family conversation.
It took too long for the kitchen to prepare our food – nearly an hour. The bar wasn't busy; a band had set up and they played the same song several times – obviously rehearsing (confirmed by the singer a half-hour later). I've never heard a band rehearsing at a live venue, but hey, it's the beach – as informal a place as it gets. I wasn't really upset at the food delay or listening to the same song several times; we wanted casual; we were not in a hurry, and we were enjoying sitting in the sea breeze, talking, and listening to great music.
The band we heard that day was The Steve Daggett Band – a country band with a great sound and a newly released single: 'End of the Street'. Steve and his band play outstanding music, some of which is available on his iTunes page: Steve Daggett – well worth a listen.
Finally, the food arrived. It was tasty, a bit expensive - $15.95 for a lobster roll, fries, slaw, and drink - but you have to expect to pay more in a recreational area like this. We learned that our server was working her first day on the job; dealing with our big group was probably more than she needed, and it's possible they weren't really prepared to serve a party of ten at an off-hour. She was apologetic, but it really wasn't a big problem for us.
The beer was cold, the food was good, and the atmosphere was relaxed; exactly what we were looking for that evening. We sat on the open patio, and enjoyed the salt air and the laid-back atmosphere of a friendly beach town - not the stuck up, nose in the air feel of nearby Watch Hill, where the rich people scrutinize everyone in sight and would really rather you keep on moving if you're not 'one of them'. No, here on Misquamicut Beach, they don't care what you look like, what you wear, or who you are – a place built for fun and relaxation, not competition for style points.
Overall, our visit to Sandy's was enjoyable. The minor flaws were outweighed by the opportunity for land-locked Texans like us to enjoy seafood, beach time, music, and atmosphere.
That is what made Sandy's Lighthouse a nice place to visit.
If you're looking for fine dining, you're in the wrong place. If you want to relax in a northeastern sort of Jimmy Buffet environment (sandals, shorts, beach attire, seafood), then Sandy's fits the bill. If you want cold beer, lobster rolls, live music, and a relaxed, beach atmosphere, have a seat on the patio at Sandy's Lighthouse, get comfortable, and enjoy yourself.
148 Atlantic Ave
Misquamicut, Rhode Island
148 Atlantic Ave
Misquamicut, Rhode Island
Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.
He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.
He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.