After months of talking about the closure of the Atlantic Club, who wants to buy Revel, the potential closing of a Caesars Entertainment property and declining revenues at the remaining Atlantic City casinos, it’s time to change the conversation to a more upbeat tune. It’s summertime, so there is plenty of exciting news to share.
I am happy to report that the building once billed as the “Skyscraper by the Sea” and previously housed the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Al Capone, has reclaimed its spot at the center of The Boardwalk as a stand-alone hotel. The Claridge Hotel previously served Bally’s Atlantic City guests but was purchased by TJM Atlantic City, a subsidiary of the Florida-based TJM Properties. The new owners added a 1920′s era theming in time for its mid-May opening. The Edwards Twins are appearing six nights a week in the Celebrity Theater. New Restaurants for the property are expected to be announced in the near future.
Staying at the center of town, Bally’s is gearing up for the opening of two exciting additions to its culinary collection. The spot that previously housed The Reserve is in the process of receiving a celebrity chef makeover in the form of Guy Fieri’s Chophouse. The sixth-floor space is being described as ‘simple with a twist,’ not just a traditional steakhouse. Menu items are expected to include java rubbed rib-eye chop, filet with roasted garlic and brown butter, spicy bloody mary jumbo shrimp cocktail, Jersey Shore clams casino, Jersey tomato salad and Cape May fried flounder.
Others may prefer some family-style Italian, and the sixth floor of Bally’s is the place to find it. Buca di Beppo, which is owned by Planet Hollywood, Inc., is taking over the space that previously home to 6ix A Bistro. The eatery will offer breakfast. lunch and dinner.
“Steeped in authentic Italian tradition, Buca di Beppo not only delivers classic old-world flavors, but also serves each dish family-style, an inviting feature which we feel will resonate with our Bally’s customers,” Kevin Ortzman, president for Bally’s, Caesars, and Showboat Atlantic City, said. “Bally’s sixth floor has long been considered the casual gourmet leader, and now it will have an additional consideration as the gateway to true Italian cuisine.”
Moving over to the Marina District, Like Palladino is out at Harrah’s (he is gearing up for his fall Philadelphia debut on East Passyunk Avenue). But the second-floor setting will not remain vacant for long as South Philadelphia Steve Martorano native is preparing to open his fourth Martorano’s concept. His signature eggplant stack, South Philly cheesesteak, rigatoni Sunday pork gravy, bucatini carbonara and the world-famous homemade meatballs are expected on the bill of fare. Like his Florida and Las Vegas locations, the restaurant will include a nightclub-like atmosphere.
“People who know me well know that I do things only one way — and that’s big!” Steve Martorano joked. “With a vibrant nightlife scene in place and a little something for everyone, Harrah’s Resort is the ideal fit for the launch of my fourth restaurant.”
For those craving more foodie news, the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival is taking place July 25-27 at Caesars and Bally’s. The confirmed celebrity lineup includes Robert Irvine, Martha Stewart and Marcus Samuelsson. More details to come in another posting. For more information, visit acfoodandwine.caesars.com.