A Heroic (Bar) Rescue on Oakland Beach

The new and improved Marley’s makes some made-for-TV improvements without losing its beach bar identity


Danielle Paliotta was a hostess and waitress right after high school and eventually started bartending. Two years ago, she saw an online ad for Marley’s and applied. Having always worked in the city, she looked forward to working on a beach. Catch her behind the bar Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Who is Marley?
The previous owners had named this place Marley after their dog. The current owner, Michelle, decided to buy a dog and name it Marley; her Bernese Mountain dog is now our new mascot. You can usually find him hanging out in the office downstairs.

How would you describe Marley’s?
It’s a hidden gem. Marley’s is an upscale yet casual beach club. Come in your bathing suit fresh from the ocean or wear your sundress and wedges. You can enjoy a drink from the outdoor tiki bar while sitting right on the sand. We have amazing views of the ocean, four fire pits and perfect firework views.

What’s your signature cocktail?
We use my secret sangria recipe here. I don’t make it too sweet. I also created a drink in honor of our local roller derbies called the Jammer. I mixed Smirnoff Sorbet light raspberry, pineapple juice, blue curacao and pomegranate puckers. The way I layer it, it looks almost like a rainbow.

Who will you find at the bar?
A variety of people, from locals that live here year round to people who have beach houses here and tourists. I have one customer that comes from Florida once a month and only comes here because it reminds him of the Bahamas.

What’s Marley’s cooking up in the kitchen?
Typical New England fare: lobsters, steamers, clam cakes and chowder. The burgers are really good. I love the lobster salad: fresh cracked lobster over a bed of fresh green lettuce.

What’s the biggest misconception about Oakland Beach?
That it’s in Oakland Beach (laughs). Everyone has this stigma about it. It’s cleaned up a lot over the years – it’s a family-friendly area. People are really awesome around here.

What’s going on behind the bar?
We have draft beers, wine, a lot of frozen drinks and some drinks that lingered over from Bar Rescue.

Did Bar Rescue make any major changes?
Bar Rescue changed the name from Marley’s On the Beach to St. Michelle’s Beach Club, named after the owner. We didn’t like the name change and neither did our regulars. We compromised and are now Marley’s Beach Club. The show upgraded the dance floor, upgraded our lawn furniture and added nice brick fire pits; Bar Rescue gave us a fresh look. They also changed up and added to our drink list.

Which cocktail is courtesy of Bar Rescue?
The Island Hopper: it’s made with Parrot Bay Mango, lime juice and simple syrup shaken over ice, then topped with coconut water. It’s super refreshing.

What is the one frozen drink you must try at Marley’s?
The Peach Mango Margarita made with tequila, peach schnapps and Island Oasis mango. Simple, yet so delicious.

What’s there to do besides drink cocktails on the beach?
Get out of the city and enjoy the live music scene here. We have great bands on the weekends, including Sunday afternoon with Tom Ravine. Or join us for karaoke on Tuesdays. There’s a Car Show on Tuesdays too. Husbands will come over and drink while their wives are in line over at Iggy’s. The patio is pet-friendly, so bring your dog!

What’s a fun, easy frozen drink our readers can concoct at home without an Oasis machine?
Blend Three Olives Cherry with lemonade and ice, add cherry juice for color and then turn on the blender. Add a little triple sec if you want it sweeter. It tastes like an old school cherry slushie. You can make the same drink with Three Olives Grape or Stoli Blu.

Tell me about your famous Fishbowls.
This cocktail, meant to for two to share, is served in an actual fishbowl. It’s made with white rum, peachtree, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sour mix and Sprite –and features Swedish fish swimming in your drink!

Marley’s will be featured on SPIKE TV’s Bar Rescue season finale on September 15. They’ll be airing it live on a giant 21-foot projector screen and doing Bar Rescue trivia from 7pm-10pm.