A night out in North Wildwood isn't complete without #1 Tavern being your first stop. The tavern's patrons begin to come in at about 8 p.m. on the weekends looking to get their buzz on with the signature house drink, the Super Tully Nut, before heading out to the island's bigger dance party bars, which don't get started until about 10 p.m.
"#1 Tavern is the meeting place," says owner Romolo Leomporra, the genius mind behind the super secret 16-ounce cocktail concoction. "People come in early when they're still sober and a lot of times they come back later to end their night with us."
Leomporra, a retired entertainer who goes by the stage name of Mark Tully, opened #1 Tavern in 1969 and has ran it every summer since, now with the help of his two sons, Romolo Jr. and Christian.
Leomporra purchased the piece of land in '69 and built the tavern from the ground up. He concocted the Super Tully Nut that same year.
"I was told by a fella who worked for me that we needed a signature drink, so I went home and started putting different drinks together. I made four variations and then I invited my sons and my wife to judge them and they each chose the same one," he says. "The tavern is the only place in the world where you could get this drink and the only person who knows the formula is me - not my sons, my wife, not my bartenders. I make the mix by hand, and if you ask the bartenders what it tastes like they'll hand you a business card."
On the back of #1 Tavern's business cards is the story of how the drink came to be - the one you just read - and nothing more.
A Super Tully Nut is $9 and is made with five different liquors and is served with an umbrella, a cherry and an orange slice.
Happy Hour and Specials:
#1 Tavern hosts a Happy Hour from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Additional weekly specials include $2 domestic draft beers on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 p.m. to close, $3 24-ounce draft beers on Wednesdays from 8 p.m. to close, and Customers Appreciation Night on Thursdays, where customers are invited to spin a wheel to win a free giveaway or discount.
Leomporra says the $2 domestic drafts deal on Fridays is new special created for the island's weekend visitors.
"Our weekenders who never really get deals," he says, "So that's for them,"