Celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Gordon Ramsay are opening new restaurants in Atlantic City. A seasoned Jersey Shore chef (Carl Messick, last at Peter Shields Inn) is going into business for himself (Grana in Cape May). Up and down the coast, restaurants are changing hands.
In sum: It’s another summer at the Jersey Shore.
This seemed to have been a winter of transition. Jim Fowler sold St. George’s Pub on Harbor Beach Boulevard in Brigantine after three decades, and Dawn O’Chuida has spruced it up as The Pub at St. George, changing the focus from Irish to American.
The Cove has opened at 3401 Pacific Ave. in Wildwood, a top-to-bottom refurbishing of The Deck at Holly Beach at the hands of first-time restaurant and bar owners Trevor Johnson and Brian Cover. It now has a modern-industrial look and food from new chef Ti-Lin Sun, who last worked for Ramsay in Atlantic City.
Tony Boloney’s, Mike Hauke’s Atlantic City-rooted sub shop and pizzeria, is set up in the shack behind Tomatoe’s in Margate for the season, offering pickup, takeout, and delivery under the name Lil B’s. It’s at 9300 Amherst Ave.
Annette’s, on Dorset Avenue in Ventnor, which was owned by Cheryl and David Venezia for the last 20 years, was sold to Joseph and Chasity Tucker of Catch, the upscale seafood restaurant in Longport, and his brother, Robert Liccio. It’s now The Dorset, with an all-day breakfast-and-brunch menu. (On the same street, at the foot of the Dorset Avenue Bridge, Wahine Wine Co., a wine shop from Vanessa Wong of Fishtown Social in Philadelphia, will open this summer. (This project was known as Ventnor Provisions Co. when it was announced last summer.)
Florida Cold Cuts, Vern and Marion Sutley’s venerable sandwich shop/liquor store on Ventnor Avenue near the Margate border, is undergoing a sale. It will be run by two couples, Heidi and Ryan Bray and Tiffany and Jake Rando, as well as Cookie Till of Steve & Cookies and 7311, the cafe and bakery on the same block. They are keeping the name, menu and, for now at least, the old-time ambience. Look for the selection of wine to be overhauled.
Thanks to input from colleagues and the generous folks of the Atlantic County Eats and Sea Isle Restaurants groups on Facebook who responded to my inquiry, here is a rundown of what else is new and anticipated, on the mainland and barrier islands.
Atlantic City (casinos)
Bobby’s Burgers by Bobby Flay (Harrah’s), due early this summer, is a retooling of Bobby’s Burger Palace with a menu of burgers, fries, and shakes.
Gin Rickey’s (Tropicana), opening this summer, will offer live music for sing-alongs; dueling pianos will perform Thursday to Sunday.
Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen (Caesars), due in August, will have a look that takes a nod to both the red and blue teams featured on his show. Menu include his signatures such as beef Wellington, the Hell’s Kitchen burger, and sticky toffee pudding.
Hash House A Go Go (Tropicana), due this summer, is a branch of the over-the-top, big-portioned American chain now also in Moorestown Mall.
Nobu (Caesars), due this summer, will take the top three floors of Caesars’ Centurion Tower with new branding and a restaurant based on Nobu Matsuhisa’s original.
Ossu Japanese Tavern (Tropicana), opening Memorial Day weekend, will be a modern Japanese tavern with a focus on small plates, yakitori, and sushi.
Purple Zebra (Tropicana), premiering July 4, will be a daiquiri bar.
Serendipity3 (Ocean), opening June 1, is an outpost of the New York City ice cream parlor-cum-restaurant, around since 1954.
Wild Honey Smokehouse & Tavern (The Quarter at Tropicana), open now, serves comfort foods with regional barbecue, with beers, large-format cocktails, and double-barrel smoked cocktails.
The Yard at Bally’s (Bally’s), due Memorial Day weekend, is a beer garden with live entertainment and pub menu, amid 1990s-themed arcade games, lounge-style seating, and an indoor and outdoor stage for live entertainment. Signature: a burger called The Influencer (slab bacon, house-smoked onions, tableside smoked Cheddar fondue, and something called jalapeño bling).
Kook Burger (3101 Revere Blvd.) serves an Instagrammable menu of burgers and fountain dishes.
Mystic Lobster Roll Co. opened a branch on Harbor Beach Boulevard.
Grana (413 S. Broadway) is the ownership debut of chef Carl Messick, executing a modern American menu of pastas, steaks, and local seafood in a minimalist atmosphere; it’s BYOB.
The New Root Cellar Tavern (38 Tuckahoe Rd.), which changed hands last summer, offers live music on weekends and an outdoor “yard bar” with cornhole and other games.
3 Flags Grill (121 S. Main St.) brings together a menu of dishes from Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
La Mesa (325 E. Jimmie Leeds Rd.) is a tequila bar and restaurant in Downtown Plaza.
No. 79 (4423 S. White Horse Pike) is a restaurant, bar, and liquor store with frequent live music.
SASS Kitchen & Taco Bar (in Blueberry Crossing shopping plaza at 240 S. White Horse Pike) is a creative outlet for April Schenk, who devised SASS sauce while bartending and built a catering business around it. It’s open for walk-ins only on Tuesdays.
Hancook (in the Exchange at 2110 New Rd.) dishes Korean food; open weekdays only.
La Tia (in the Exchange at 2110 New Rd.) serves Peruvian dishes.
Yesterday’s Creekside Tavern on Roosevelt Boulevard, on the causeway into Ocean City, was sold by the McIntyre family to Tim Fox, owner of the Deauville Inn in Strathmere. It’s open during renovations.
Izzy’s River Landing (5704 Somers Point Rd.), a waterside spot accessible by boat or car, has new operators this season.
North Cape May
The Lookout, a moderately fine-dining dinner restaurant operated by Exit 0, opened on the second floor of the Cape May ferry terminal. Great sunset views.
The landmark Chatterbox at Ninth Street and Central Avenue has been purchased by a group including the owners of Philadelphia’s Green Eggs Cafe, per the Press of Atlantic City.
Famous Cookie Creamery, a collaboration of Famous 4th Street Cookies and Bassetts Ice Cream (of Reading Terminal Market fame) has branched out from Wildwood with a shop at 1242 Boardwalk.
Taqueria Rendon, which launched at Northfield’s London Square Mall, has added a location at 1138 Boardwalk, replacing DaMo Pasta Lab between Kohr’s and Crunchik’n.
Outer Banks Boil Co., a seafood specialist, is set to open June 11 at 1309 West Ave.
Rio Station (3505 U.S. 9), a family spot with a bar that keeps morning-till-late hours, has new owners: Bill and Megan Bumbernick, who own the Surfing Pig in North Wildwood.
Sea Isle City
Basilicos Ristorante (27 43rd St.) added a new market with grab-and-go items, soups, and prepared meals.
Shorebreak Cafe, which opened toward the end of last summer at 4002 Landis Ave., has quickly become a local must. Dana Iannelli, who appeared on Food Network’s Wedding Cake Championship, juggles head-cheffing there and at Ludlam Bar & Grill.
Shoobies by Bright Spot (4001 Landis Ave.) is under new management and has expanded its menu (adding Mexican dishes)
Topsail Steamer, specializing in buckets of seafood, has opened a location at 4211 Landis Ave.
Zio Niccolo Pizza, new at 43rd Street and the Promenade. It will deliver to the beach.
Clancy’s by the Bay will close, effective May 29. Clancy’s by the Sea on the Ocean City Boardwalk will continue.
The Kitchen at Caroline’s by the Bay (450 Bay Ave.) has revamped its menu, going more upscale. Same great views.
Surfside Rooftop Grill (224 96th St.) with live music on weekends replaced Chill.
Mr. Gordos, a taqueria, is new at 5223 Ventnor Ave.
Staff writer Amy S. Rosenberg contributed to this article.