Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.
While several casinos are scheduled to close — Showboat and Trump Plaza — and the monthly reports on the revenue from the various casinos is still on the down swing overall, the announcement of Atlantic City’s demise is premature. The mantra for improving AC’s outlook has been and continues to be amenities, amenities, amenities.
The casinos know this is an area that continues to grow. Nightclubs are doing a strong business. For a prime example, Golden Nugget’s Haven was an immediate success when it opened Memorial Day in 2013 (for more on Haven read Ray Schweibert’s story in this week’s AC Weekly).
The other strong component under the amenities banner is food, both with new restaurants opening and the numerous food events that take place each year, highlighted by the Atlantic City Food & Wine festival coming up next weekend.
Speaking of new restaurants, when I interviewed Guy Fieri in 2010 at the Food & Wine Fest, he raved about the Atlantic City dining scene: “A.C. is absolutely one of my favorite places to go. Put it in capital letters, double underline it. Granted I get an incredible reception from my friends at Harrah’s and Caesars. It has a small-town charm, but with big-city opportunity. You get huge headliners that come to A.C., you have good food, you have good people, and you’ve got the beach.”
When asked about opening a restaurant in town he said he would love to do it.
Well that time has arrived with Guy Fieri’s Chophouse at Bally’s in the space formerly known as The Reserve. In addition, Bally’s has opened a new family style Italian restaurant, Buca Di Beppo, and over at Harrah’s Resort, is the new Italian restaurant Martorano’s from Philly native Steve Martorano. I’m dining at Guy’s joint tomorrow and will file a report on what should be an off-the-hook dining experience.
In conclusion, Atlantic City’s vibrant dining and nightclub scenes sent out a strong message that the town is far from finished.