Walk into Tom's Place during a Friday night DJ Dance Party or a Saturday night band jam session and you'd be shocked to learn the owner is 76-year-old Tom Sandman, a guy who doesn't use the Internet, but whose bar's Facebook page has already obtained plenty of fans.
Sandman opened Tom's Place in September 2012, located in Mullica Township between Egg Harbor City and Hammonton. He has owned the property for years, once upon a time as The Red Moon Saloon and in most recent years it's been vacant and unused.
He says he was waiting for the right time to shake off its dust and put it back to use. Or, more accurately, he was waiting for his granddaughter, 27-year-old Samantha Gilanyi, who was busy getting her MBA.
Gilanyi is the bar's general manager and its social media expert. Running the bar with her grandfather has been a plan for many years, she says. But first, she had to get through school.
"We wanted (Tom's Place) to be a place where we would both want to hang out," Gilanyi says.
Apparently it's working.
"We really do have everything from 21-year-olds to 80-year-olds who come in to sit at the bar and enjoy the scene," she says.
The bar features six beers on tap including Stella Artois, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Blue Moon, Sam Adams seasonal ales, Coors Light and Yuengling.
For now, Tom's Place is only open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with drink specials from 5 to 8 p.m. including $1 off all mixed drinks and shots and 50 cents off all beers. There's also early-bird-dinner discounts on all sandwiches and mini-meals.
"The point is to try to get the diners in before the entertainment gets going," Gilanyi says. "It started as a restaurant and bar, but it's become more of a bar than a restaurant."
Entertainment typically starts at 8:30 p.m.
Friday, April 19: DJ Dance Party, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20: Performance by Alex Glover, 8:30 p.m.
Glover performs a wide-variety of music from "Kenny Rogers to Al Green," Gilanyi says. "It's easy listening."
On April 27, Tom's Place will host a Karaoke night in place of a live band. Karaoke starts at 8 p.m.
The Chuck Boone Band, a classic rock, classic soul and blues band from South Jersey, will be performing at Tom's Place the second Saturday of each month through the summer: May 11, June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10. Performances start at around 8:30 p.m.