Monmouth County has its fair share of towns that continually compete against one another when it comes to summertime visitors. There’s no denying that the local population swells up during the summertime, as the area is frequented by out of state visitors — in addition to the influx of fellow residents in the garden state. While shore towns like Asbury Park, Belmar, and Long Branch receive the majority of the summer traffic, there’s one town that’s been brewing for summertime perfection.
That town is Holmdel, but more specifically, we’re talking about Bell Works. The metroburb has been very busy expanding, even through the most challenging periods of the pandemic. If you haven’t been to Bell Works within the last year, you’ll be in for a treat with your next visit because of its transformation in being a powerhouse not only for the summertime, but year round.
Why is it poised to become a summertime destination over the handful of shore towns that attract visitors with their beaches and dynamic downtowns? Quite simply, it’s growing — and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. More than a year after the start of the pandemic, Bell Works is buzzing with activity.
It’s not a mall, it’s far more than just that. What makes Bell Works unique is how it encompasses retail, commercial, dining, entertainment, and more. With the opening of its outdoor deck, Bar Bella is an oasis of sorts that’s perfect for those summertime days — when you need a refreshing drink in hand. You get those beach side vibes without having to deal with the shore traffic.
“What makes Bar Bella different is that we have very unique drinks, we’ve curated the whole cocktail list,” replied Paola Zamudio, Bell Works’ creative director and lead designer. “We wanted to bring some destination like Italy. Everything is so well curated and that’s why Bar Bella is very special.” One step into the outdoor deck bar and you’ll instantly realize why Zamudio is so passionate about Bar Bella, every minor detail about the drinks, décor, and styling all helps to give this outdoor deck bar those summertime vibes.
Over on the dining and retail side, there’s eclectic variety found everywhere. From the craft pizzas made from hand at Corbo and Sons, to the quick and easy sandwiches from Bubz Deli, and the ice cream that’ll relieve you from those hot summers from Jersey Freeze, Bell Works has no shortage of great finds. And best of all, it’s all found under the distinct architecture that sets Bell Works from everything else around.
The weather doesn’t affect how Bell Works operates, as ‘the block’ is vast enough to host many events — including its weekly farmers market. There will be many more events slated for the summer, including the return of its red, white, and boom fireworks show, which is open to the public.
There’s really nothing that’s stopping Bell Works from being a destination on its own because of the richness and diversity of what it offers. “Everything that is here is very unique,” Zamudio goes on to explain to us. How often do you expect to find a ballet company next door to a co-working space? You don’t, which is exactly the allure of what makes Bell Works different. “We have a little bit of everything, which is all part of the metroburb — the metropolis and suburbia, so it’s a great thing to have here.”