About Margate Dairy Bar


historyIn 1952, the McCrae family opened the Margate Dairy Bar in a new structure that was considered “Googie or ultra-modern” at the time. They served custards, frozen desserts, burgers, fries and shakes. As time went on, the Margate Dairy Bar boomed, becoming a “destination location,” sought-out by vacationing families season after season. (No visit to Margate was complete without at least one stop at the Dairy Bar! And that tradition continues today)

However, times change—and not always for the best. The Dairy Bar and its adjoining restaurant, once together, were sold separately, and each changed hands several times over the years. Both properties began to lose their luster.

In 2003, when things were at their darkest, Chris Clayton rode to the rescue, buying the Dairy Bar. We “cleaned the dirt off the diamond,” as Chris Clayton, the hands-on owner/operator, says today. He recognized it as the fifties icon it was, and began paying it the respect it deserved, with new equipment, expanded menus, more service areas, larger staff, and attractive expansion and renovations. In 2008, the Claytons bought the property which included the adjoining restaurant next door. This set the stage for a glorious future to mirror the success of the past.

This future was in the works when Hurricane Sandy struck Margate hard. Almost total destruction had slowed the re-emergence of the Dairy Bar. But, we reemerged as a “back to the future” classic of fifties, Googie architecture, combined with great food, frozen desserts, legendary customer service and today’s modern technologies!

Then in 2015, after 7 years of planning, we expanded our offerings and building to rebirth The Margate Burger Bar where our beloved business once paired juicy prime burgers with ice cream on an open-air patio back in the 50’s and 60’s. This time around, we partnered with legendary burger butcher Pat LaFrieda to formulate a special blend of short rib and brisket that has won us the Atlantic City Burger Bash 1st place People’s Choice award for two consecutive years 2018, 2019 (2nd Place in 2017) that the contest was held. Plus a bangin’ daily house made veggie burger and Hebrew National brand dogs!

We now offer a panoply of water ices, ice creams, shakes, blasters and frozen delights, dairy and gluten free options, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries (of course!), free entertainment, and other delights undreamed-of “back in the day.” We added more window service, more seating, eating space, and CLEAN bathrooms with baby changing stations.

Why not make the memories for your generation that your parents, and maybe your grandparents made for theirs?

Visit the Margate Dairy Bar, now 69 years old. It’s an experience you and your family will fondly remember!

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