Rock singer Sammy Hagar is pulling out of the Atlantic City summer beach bar scene after a three-year gig.
The famed “Red Rocker” and former Van Halen frontman announced on his website that he could not reach agreement with Caesars Entertainment Corp. to rebuild his hurricane-destroyed beach bar at Bally’s Atlantic City.
“Following months of ongoing discussions, Sammy Hagar has regretfully been unable to come to terms with Caesars Entertainment on the rebuilding of the Sammy Beach Bar & Grill at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino,” his website said.
Caesars Entertainment confirmed Monday that it could not reach a financial deal with Hagar. With Hagar out of the picture, the company will instead open the generically named Bally’s Beach Bar this summer.
“While Bally’s has enjoyed the partnership with Sammy Hagar, the decision to re-open this coming May as Bally’s Beach Bar is purely financial in nature,” company spokeswoman Katie Dougherty said in a statement.
Dougherty went on to say that the beachfront location will continue to offer “outrageous cocktails and some of the summer’s best DJs and live entertainment” to give customers the service and experience they have come to know.
With Hagar gone and other changes to come, the beach bar scene will undergo a dramatic shift this summer. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino announced last year that it would not reopen its beach bar this summer because of tougher competition from singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s new Margaritaville project at Resorts Casino Hotel.
Buffett’s beachfront LandShark Bar & Grill will be the centerpiece of a $35 million Margaritaville-themed bar, restaurant and casino expansion opening Memorial Day weekend at Resorts.
Hagar’s website said his beach bar was a popular Atlantic City attraction until it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29. It also said Hagar is exploring a new partnership in the region but did not give details. Hagar’s Los Angeles-based publicist, Hannah Kampf, did not comment Monday.
Hagar opened the beach bar in May 2010, when Caesars Entertainment’s four Atlantic City casinos — Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat — were overseen by Don Marrandino, Hagar’s close friend. Marrandino, who left as Eastern Division president of Caesars Entertainment in January for undisclosed reasons, would pal around with Hagar whenever he was in Atlantic City.
In addition to making a splash in the city’s entertainment scene, Hagar also supported local charities through his Hagar Family Foundation. Last May, he made an appearance at the beach bar to present a $10,000 check to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish to help the church feed Atlantic City’s needy. Hagar’s website said he and his foundation “remain committed to the Atlantic City community.”
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