Life's a beach for Sammy Hagar

Rocker Sammy Hagar is bringing his party-hearty brand to Atlantic City thanks to a deal with Bally's Atlantic City.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar will be open on the sand in front of the midtown gambling den. The al fresco party pit will operate where, in the past, Bally's has had its own Bikini Beach Bar.

It's not all surprising that Hagar, who replaced David Lee Roth as Van Halen's lead singer, and currently fronts the "supergroup" Chickenfoot, has partnered with a Harrah's Entertainment Inc. property. He numbers among his best friends Don Marrandino, who runs Bally's as part of his duties as Harrah's Entertainment's Eastern Region President.

 "Sammy and I have been buddies forever," said Marrandino. "I just reached out to an old friend."

Actually, it took Marrandino, who came to Atlantic City from Las Vegas last fall, a while to think about inviting his pal to AyCee. "When I first got here I didn't even realize we had a beach bar," admitted Marrandino, a self-described rock 'n' roll fanatic. "Then I saw the beach bar and thought he would be perfect."

 Marrandino said the seaside saloon will "be a rock bar, primarily," but that all of its programming will "vibe with a beach bar."

Marrandino warned fans shouldn't expect Hagar to attend the bar's holiday weekend debut, but he does expect to see him during the summer. "I'm sure if he's on the East Coast, he'll make his way here," he said.

But, added the casino chief, Hagar's presence can only add to what will be a major party spot. "It'll be a scene," he promised. "I think the one thing Atlantic City needs is a scene."

 Hagar--who is donating his cut of the beach bar's profits to charity--has for years had a second career as a nightlife entrepreneur. His holdings include the popular Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas on Mexico's Pacific Coast as well as outlets in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, Nev. He is also the founder of the Cabo Wabo brand of tequila.