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Grab every bit of summer at Turtle Joe’s Sand Bar

Hanging onto this hot-hot summer by our flip-flopped, pedicured toes for as long as we can, we vowed to visit the beach more often before it reaches its foregone (and depressing) conclusion.

As we are of a certain age (called maturity), things like gardening, social obligations and work have whittled our beach opportunities down a bit since our roaring 20s. But we endure.

Turtle Joe’s Sand Bar provided a way to visit the bygone era of our youth, yet sans the drama.

The joint (the former South Shore next to Captain Kidds under new ownership) has been spiffed up with bright colors and redone bathrooms. An overall facelift includes fun wall art depicting sexy female pirates, the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea giant octopus and Turtle Joe, who looks like the party-boy cousin of “Crush” from “Finding Nemo.” (Loved the teeny diabolical skeleton pirate steering the ship on the patio bar mural.)

The decks seemed bigger. Maybe better table and chair arrangement? We don’t know, but it was more spacious and easier to navigate. Bands play on the deck too, rather than indoors to earsplitting levels. And when there’s no band, Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” with a Caribbean beat on SiriusXM Margaritaville might serenade guests.

Canned beers are $3.75 for the likes Genny, Coors Lights, Corona, Bud Light Lime, Molson and local Resurgence IPA. For something sweeter, cans of Jack Daniels punches are available. Wines ($6.50-$8.50) range from a light Pinot Grigio to a Merlot.

We skipped it all and went right for the tropical summer cocktails. At $7 each, the fruity and refreshing Rum Runner, Bahama Mama and Long Island Tea pack a punch. Frozen daiquiris, pina coladas and margaritas ($6) are perfect for cooling off, too. The happy hour two-for-one make these cocktails a bargain.

The food is probably the best improvement. Nothing fancy, but lots of good bar food including summer fare like clams (raw, steamed, casino), crab leg clusters and shrimp cocktail. From the fryer come picky things like wings, fingers and fries.

Our beef taco ($6.95) and chicken quesadilla ($8.95) were huge. Delicious and easy to eat, they are perfect for sharing. “Sand … wiches” (get it?) and burgers looked good, too.

The beach and bar work as one big space. Grab a drink at the bar and go sit on the beach. Or hit the beach then head back to the bar. Heck, if you feel ambitious, rent a kayak or paddle board from the nearby stand, then return for a beer. Just prepare to climb the giant sand hill/stairs to access the bar from the beach.

An easier proposition is to simply hang out on one of the Adirondack chairs that grace a deck that’s really a giant sand pit. It’s all good, and can be done in nothing more than a bathing suit.

Turtle Joe’s motto is: “Visit us today, and let’s enjoy the summer while it lasts!”

We seconded that emotion when we shook out our sandy towels at home.

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