Mystic Islands Casino, the popular casual restaurant and bar in the Mystic Islands section of Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County is closing, leaving only the attached liquor store still in business.

Word has spread quickly that the bar and grill will close at the end of business on Monday, July 17.

Mystic Islands Casino opened in 1964 and was purchased in the 1980s by the Hemmelstein family. Gary Hemmelstein sold the business in 2020.

The restaurant had a following for its excellent wings, clams and burgers, specials like prime rib on Saturday night, and a free buffet during Monday Night Football season.

Mystic Islands Casino was also known for having good live entertainment.

On a Facebook thread on the Little Egg Harbor page, locals remembered Mystic Islands Casino fondly, as a nice place to relax and have a good meal and play a game of pool.

Many on the Little Egg Harbor Facebook page say they noticed a change in the establishment over the last few years.

The consensus on the social media thread is the business never recovered from Covid-19 and the change in ownership.

Mystic Islands Casino has been on Mathistown Road since the 1970s after initially being located on Radio Road across from the radio tower.

The name Mystic Islands Casino has always been a bit of a mystery to many since the establishment does not have any type of gambling. The origin behind the word “casino” comes from the word casa, which is Italian for house.

It's not clear what the owners plan to do with the closing restaurant section of the Mystic Islands Casino building.

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