Sonsie, located inside The Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City, will be changing its focus to Italian food and may even change its name in early 2010.
Since opening in 2006, the restaurant debuted as a European bistro with American flair and then converted to a steak and chophouse in hopes of luring diners. But the restaurant's struggles continue despite management's attempts to reinvent itself.
Sonsie is the signature eatery from restaurateur Patrick Lyons and the Boston-based Lyons Group, which also owns Game On! and Trinity Irish Pub & Carvery inside The Pier.
Rumors have been swirling that Sonsie will be renamed Fat Tony's to give the restaurant an obvious identity. The new menu will also be more affordable.
"When Sonsie opened, there were many Italian dishes on its menu," says spokesperson Lisa Johnson of the Egg Harbor Township-based Lisa Johnson Communications. "So we are reintroducing Italian favorites to the menu very soon, and an overall Italian concept is being planned to come into place in early 2010."
Johnson would not confirm that Fat Tony's will be the new name.
"Since opening, people didn't understand what Sonsie was all about," Johnson said. "It is fabulously successful in Boston, but here, people were unsure what type of cuisine Sonsie offered. When people see Phillip's and its giant crab, they know it's seafood. There is no Italian restaurant on The Pier, so we think an all-Italian concept will be extremely successful."
Dusk was jumping last Saturday night as Jessica Lowndes of "90210" fame hosted a bash. The sexy TV star sipped champagne and partied with boyfriend Aaron Paul, even displaying some public affection while DJ Morse Code played music, including Lowndes' latest single, "Body on the Floor."
Dusk also hosted the official LMFAO Party Rock Tour concert on Monday night. Headliners LMFAO joined Cisco Adler, Shwayze, The Paradiso Girls, Far East Movement, DJ Jason Smith and others to party into the wee hours. LMFAO, Far East, Adler and Shwayze all did impromptu performances, and the groups joined forces to perform LMFAO's "Shots" as they poured Patron tequila into each others' mouths, as well as some fans'.
Over at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Kelly Rowland performed "When Love Takes Over" and "Like This" for a packed mur.mur crowd on Saturday night. The Destiny's Child member joined DJ D.Nice and performed to fans including Randy Jackson, the youngest of the Jackson brothers. Rowland was also seen hitting the craps tables before heading back to her Water Club suite.
Borgata saved the best for Monday night when it brought Sean "Diddy" Combs to mur.mur to host his official album release party for "Last Train to Paris. Diddy was joined by Dirty Money members Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper, who are featured on the album. Diddy danced to music by DJs Chachi and D.Nice. He was up early, however, to help Philadelphia's "Chio in the Morning" from 96.5-FM with its annual toy drive at the Wachovia Center on Tuesday.
Run with the Santas
One of the most fun events of the year returns on Saturday, Dec. 12, as the Tropicana Casino & Resort will be full of jolly souls running the halls at the second Running of the Santas.
Grab your running shoes and Santa hat - or full costume if you really want to impress - and head to the Trop, where a slew of Santas will be led by Hooters girls from The Marketplace on the Boardwalk through the Tropicana and finally at the "North Pole," A Dam Good Sports Bar.
Register in The Marketplace from 8 to 9:30 p.m., then hang at Hooters and Firewaters, which will be offering drink and food specials from 8 to 10 p.m.. including 20 wings for $12.99 at Hooters, and $2.25 bottles of select beer at both Firewaters and Hooters.
After the run, A Dam Good Sports Bar will offer more specials, including $5 40-ounce beers, and hold a "Sexy Santa Contest" from 10 to 11 p.m., including a $500 grand prize. The party will continue with an afterparty at Planet Rose.
The Comedy Stop will also get in on the action, offering a $5 discount for its 11:15 p.m. show on Dec. 12 if you wear a Santa costume, and WJSE 102.7-FM morning show hosts JoJo and Scotty will be on hand to host the event.
Tickets are $10 if you preregister at
www.runningofthesantas.com, and a portion of the proceeds benefits Alex's Lemonade Stand Foudnation.
Special room rates are offered at $125. Call 800-THE-TROP and use the code TSANTA.
Last week to see
'A Christmas Carol'
If you haven't seen Disney's "A Christmas Carol" in IMAX 3-D at The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, this is your last week to experience a true holiday classic done with modern-day technology.
The animated film starring Jim Carrey and directed by Robert Zemeckis ("Polar Express"), runs through Thursday, Dec. 17, when James Cameron's "Avatar" debuts.
If you're looking for a full day out, the Trop is teaming with Flyers Skate Zone in Atlantic City. For $25 per person, ticketholders get a two-hour skate and a movie ticket with a small soda and popcorn. A minimum of 15 people are required and advance booking is required by calling 609-340-4045.
Also, take your ticket stub to Old Farmers Almanac inside The Quarter and receive 15 percent off Christmas ornaments.
Girls Night Out
Go to Girls Night Out at Atlantic City Country Club on Saturday, Dec. 12, and enjoy half-price martinis, appetizer specials, massages, 10 to 40 percent off golf merchandise and more. Vendors will be there to offer Christmas gifts, or feel free to bring in your own gifts and have them wrapped for free. The event takes place at 5 p.m.
Also at the country club, a Holiday Food & Coat Drive and Mixer will be held 5 to 7 p.m. to benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Bring non-perishable food and/or a new and gently used coats. Complimentary hor d'oeuvres and drink specials will be offered.
Free stuff at The Walk
If you're still holiday shopping, you might want to know that The Walk in Atlantic City is offering free valet parking and gift wrapping every Tuesday and Wednesday through Dec. 23.
The Walk is also featuring its own Holiday Headquarters store with an array of gifts to fit everyone's wish list. Speaking of wish lists, The Walk's Wish List program enables shoppers to fill out cards with items they want for Christmas. "Santas" are then contacted by The Walk and informed what's on the Wish List. The Wish Lists also feature entry blanks to register to win a 2010 Kia Soul from Atlantic Auto Group, a $500 shopping spree at The Walk, an overnight stay at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, a Signature SeaShell Massage and overnight stay at Showboat Casino-Hotel and more.
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, former Philadelphia Flyer Brian Propp will be at Holiday Headquarters to sign autographs and talk hockey with fans from 5 to 7 p.m.
12 Days of Christmas at Pier at Caesars
The Pier Shops at Caesars will kick of its 12 Days of Christmas event beginning Sunday, Dec. 13, and ending Friday, Dec. 25. Shoppers are encouraged to check out the 80 retail shops and restaurants and enjoy specials that include 20 to 40 percent of the fall collections at BOSS Hugo Boss, 20 percent off entire purchases at Quicksilver, $20 savings cards for every $80 spent at Chico's, $10 off purchases of $60 or more at Finish Line and more.
For dining, Philip's Seafood, Sonsie and Trinity Irish Pub & Carvery are offering prix-fize menus for $29.99, $33 and $29, respectively. And Stephen Starr's Continental is featuring a $29 chef's tasting platter consisting of any four items from the Global Tapas menu. You can also build your own Bento Box at Buddakan and receive a free holiday dessert.
If you're a little stressed out for the holiday season, Qua Baths & Spa inside Caesars Atlantic City recently unveiled some holiday-themed spa treatments that are pretty enticing.
The 75-minute "Joy, Peace and Harmony" treatments are offered daily except Saturdays throughout December and January for $180 each.
Resorts Atlantic City is offering cardholders a chance to win "Santa's Top 10 Gifts" of the season. Players must activate their Resorts card by playing slot machines or tables. Winners will be randomly selected. On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13, prizes include an iPod Nano, Nintendo Wii, PSP Go, and more. Santa will personally hand out the gifts to winners, 10 which will be selected every hour from noon to 10 p.m. The winner of the last drawing each day receives all 10 gifts.
- Scott Cronick