Lua is one of the many bands performing at Maloney’s Uptown Friday, March 28.

Through the years, the folks at Maloney’s have given the people of South Jersey countless memories. Some memories might seem like yesterday, while many others have been hazy since day one.

After several decades serving the people of Margate, Maloney’s Uptown opened in Atlantic City. And this weekend, they’ll be bestowing some final memories to us as they close their doors for good. Maloney’s owner Coby Frier has teamed with Elephants for Autism on Friday and Pass It On on Saturday to provide two evenings filled with music, drinks and good deeds.

“It’s a benefit, but it’s also Maloney’s last hurrah,” says Frier, who has some other surprises in store. Elephants for Autism’s Jerry Ryan joined forces, bringing a scaled-down version of his immensely popular three-day festivals that have been running in Atlantic City for the past three years.

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“We’ve got six bands, some acoustic and some electric,” says Ryan, who was approached with the idea for the event by organizer and At The Shore Editor Scott Cronick.

A variety of styles will be represented, including the reggae/ska sounds of both Lua and Ill Rendition, and the jazz fusion of Fool’s Pudding. Ryan warns and promises things will get loud. Kicking off the benefit will be punk rock luminary Malcolm Tent, performing with his three-piece band. For the traditionalists, Hyway will perform time-honored classic rock covers.

Also on the bill is Juggernaut Drunk, a local powerhouse who may not be performing again in our area for a while.

“They’ve been around for years — they’re kind of a bluesy, sleazy rock ’n’ roll band, such as Tom Waits or the Stooges,” Ryan says. The band may be relocating soon, so area music fans are advised to enjoy this fleeting opportunity.”

A $5 donation will be collected at the door, with all proceeds from the event going to the Archway special needs school in Atco.

“They have a music program there,” Ryan says. “I’m trying to help bring in different musicians every week to help the kids.”

An extensive array of instruments has slowly been amassing, with the intent being to bring in individual instructors for each. Ryan hopes to eventually entice some prominent, nationally-touring artists into helping out as well.

“When I saw how much these kids love playing these instruments, I just thought, ‘I’ve got to get some teachers in here for them!’,” he says.

Music isn’t the only attraction of Friday, however.

“We also have some celebrity bartenders lined up,” Frier says. Guests include NBC 40’s Sports Director Pete Thompson, WOND 1400-AM radio personality Marc Berman and Cronick, among others. They’ll be slinging drinks at “throwback” prices — $2 domestic drafts and $4 Fireball shots — leaving attendees with even more extra cash to donate to the cause, if they so desire.

The fun will continue Saturday as another benefit takes place for the new charity Pass It On, a Galloway Township-based group that assists impoverished families in need not only by helping them with food and clothing, but motivating them to make their lives better through self-motivation and employment.

Guest bartenders will include Kimberly Shurig and Cronick, among others, and the specials will include $2 domestic drafts and $4 Fireball shots. And one of the big draws is the immense silent auction organized by Frier and Shurig that will include tickets to the Philadelphia Phillies, surfing lessons, bottle service at area clubs and much more.

“It’s a weekend of giving back,” Frier says. “And I couldn’t think of two better groups to help. Maloney’s has always been there for the community and it has always had a great time doing it. So this is our way of going out on a high note.”

The benefits begins 6 p.m. on Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29. Friday’s music lineup will perform until about 2 a.m. For more information, call 609-449-8992.

As far as whether or not any incarnation of the Uptown will remain in the area, providing a future venue for drinking and rocking, Frier ends with this cryptic message: “All I can say is, it will never be known as ‘Maloney’s’ again.”

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