Do AC with CMBC
The big news in South Jersey over the past few months has been the simultaneous opening of two new casinos in Atlantic City. The Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort opened July 3rd, bringing some 6,000 new jobs with them.
Thankfully, several of those jobs involve saying “yes” to our intrepid South Jersey Sales Manager, Richie Rallo, when he says, “Hey. You wanna carry some Cape May brews?”
(And then he works his butt off to make it happen.)
While many of the restaurants in both casinos are still in their opening stages, Richie was kind enough to host the staff at Straight to the Pint for a visit, checking out the venues where you’ll be able to find our brews.
The new Ocean Resort bought the failing Revel casino for ten cents on the dollar — the original Revel cost its investors $2B, and they were able to snap it up for a cool $200M. After a $35M renovation, this place is looking the very definition of swanky.
You’ll be able to find our brews at four venues in the Ocean Resort.
This 24-hour casual dining restaurant has a 50s boardwalk feel, with neon lights and a menu full of burgers, flatbreads, and brick oven pizza.
The bartender, Shirley, is all about the burgers there.
“They are phenomenal,” she enthuses.
She was glad to be able to serve Cape May IPA.
“It’s very popular,” she tells us. “People come in and say, ‘Oh, Cape May beer? We love to see something local!”
Be sure to swing by and check them out. If you run into Shirley, be sure to say hello!
Villain and Saint
This rock-and-roll hall and eatery is “a cultural gathering spot that accommodates rockers of all stripes” — particularly if you like Devil’s Reach or Honey Porter. They’ll have live music five nights a week once they get settled, but, for now, you’ll be able to catch a decent rock show on Friday and Saturday nights.
“Your beer sells so much,” said bartender Sioban.
Manager Kamila loves the Honey Porter, telling us how much she loved the maltiness balanced by the hint of sweetness.
This is definitely the place to be for craft beer enthusiasts in AC — with 27 beers on tap and 30 bottles, Kamila tells us that they’re planning to have a total of 150 beers when all is said and done.
And the menu is killer! Reasonably-priced wood-fired pizzas, small plates, appetizers, and a raw bar, Kamila says that the mussels are where it’s at. Served in a classic white wine sauce, spicy Thai green curry, pee-wee potato and gruyere, and Mediterranean, you won’t be disappointed.
Check them out! It’s definitely the place to be for music lovers.
We didn’t get a chance to speak to anyone at Amada, but this is one of the crown jewels of the Ocean Resort. Chef Jose Garces — winner of the second season of The Next Iron Chef — has numerous eateries throughout the country, with two in the Ocean Resort alone.
Ocean Resort calls it “rustic-chic,” and, from what we could see, we agree. The menu looks amazeballs: tapas, charcuterie, flatbreads, and killer chicken, pork, beef, and seafood entrees. Steeped in the tradition of Spanish cuisine, Amada showcases the tastes and smells of Andalucia.
Be sure to check out Chef Jose’s special selections! He’ll pair them with wines, but you should feel free to try it with the Cape May IPA on tap. Let us know what you think.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Ocean Resort has a Topgolf.
With 43 locations worldwide and another few dozen in planning, the typical Topgolf has three levels of driving ranges and are so technically-advanced that each ball has a microchip to track where it’s gone and how well/fast/far you’ve hit it.
However, at Ocean Resort, things are a little different. Apparently, they don’t want you pitching golf balls off the roof of the casino and into the ocean Cosmo Kramer-style, so they’ve set up a digital version of Topgolf called Swing Suite.
Beverage Manager Thomas is new to the area. A transplant from Atlanta, he considers himself “a big craft beer drinker,” and he’s loving Coastal. He explained how things work at Topgolf.
Up to eight people can rent one of eleven hitting bays for $50/hour, and you’ll get a full bar, a dedicated server, and a full menu. They’ll have table games available in a few weeks and slots are planned at the bar. With a sports book available just outside the venue, Topgolf will have numerous sports packages available, so you’ll be able to keep tabs on the games. You can even rent two bays — play golf on one with the game playing on the other.
And these simulators are nothing to shake a stick at. They feature some 80 courses, including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, as well as games involving a golf/baseball hybrid and ways of knocking out your attackers during a zombie apocalypse. Of course.
They also have one of four hydraulic-controlled putting greens in the world.
“Tiger Woods has one, some rich guy in Dubai, and there’s one in Vegas,” Thomas tells us.
That’s pretty cool — and this thing was pretty interesting. Golfers can select a number of different terrains, with the ground moving beneath you. Tiger might be lucky enough to have one, but he won’t be able to quaff Coastal as he works on his short game.
Regardless, Topgolf is one of the fastest-growing franchises on the planet.
“However, this the only Topgolf with an ocean view,” Thomas jokes.
That view is no joke, though. Be sure to check it out!
With the Hard Rock casino opening at the former Taj Mahal, the purple-and-gold 80s gaudiness of the former Trump property has given way to rock-and-roll glitz. There, instead of the assault on the senses that once was, you’ll find a signed guitar from Jersey boy Jon Bon Jovi, a Swarovski crystal glove worn by Michael Jackson, John Lennon’s original handwritten lyrics to “Imagine”, and an outfit from Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” tour.
This is definitely more our speed.
Right now, you can find CMBC brews at two spots in the Hard Rock.
Featuring contemporary artisanal dishes, Kuro is a “new-style” Japanese restaurant, featuring locally-sourced ingredients as well as elements imported directly from Japan. We were able to catch up with Leonard at the bar — they’ve only got five taps, but have Cape May IPA on one.
“We were debating what to bring in,” Leonard tells us, “but we decided on the IPA. No one’s ever going to be mad at Cape May IPA.”
He tells us that it’s been doing well — and the venue itself has been doing well, too. Judging from the smells surrounding us, it’s for good reason.
“I love the possibility of this experience,” Leonard said. “When you’re sitting at the bar, you’re sitting in an open kitchen with the line at your back, awesome food coming out over your shoulder, sometimes delivered by the Executive Chef.”
An interesting and self-consciousness-inducing touch is that the hostess yells “Yōkoso!” — “Welcome!” — as you’re being seated, and the rest of the employees yell it back. It’s a nice touch, though you may feel as if you’d inadvertently stepped into a Kurosawa film.
Maybe that’s where the name comes from.
Either way, the food was getting excellent reviews from Jarrod at the bar. A rep from a well-known brewery in Maine, he’d spent about three hours sampling nearly everything on the menu.
“It’s a great place to stuff your face,” he told us. “The corn fritters are great. Pork skewers are fantastic.”
Be sure to check it out!
Upscale dining in an intimate setting is on the menu at Council Oak Fish — as well as a tremendous amount of seafood and Cape May IPA in cans.
Bar Manager Andrew has had a long association with the brewery.
“I was one of the first to carry you guys on tap,” he says, “when I was at the Rusty Nail back in 2011. I love the local brews, and you guys have a special place in my heart.”
The original Council Oak Fish location is at the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida, with the Atlantic City location bringing guests the Northeast’s freshest catches by local fishermen, an a la carte menu focused on ocean-to-table dishes, tableside caviar service, and a fire-burning kitchen. The hardwood and marble aesthetic is both welcoming and comforting.
Bartender Robert tells us that the wood-fired octopus is a big seller, with the wood-fired fish such as salmon and swordfish being huge sellers, as well. The shellfish pots sound fantastic — there’s something for everyone on this menu.
They have a josper oven — sort of an oven/grill hybrid — to give everything a wood-fired flavor. There’s an icebox display as you walk in, displaying some of the fresh catches of the day. Some of it was so fresh it was still moving.
“The food is fantastic,” Robert says.
Only one way to find out if he’s telling the truth — check this place out!
It looks like we’ve got several places to check out on your next trip to AC. Let us know how you make out!