With every New Year comes a clean slate and a fresh perspective. Shake off those 2016 blues with our round-up of things to look forward to in 2017.
The Steel Pier’s observation wheel
There are precious few family-friendly attractions in Atlantic City, so the addition of the Steel Pier’s soon-to-be-opened observation wheel will be a refreshing addition to America’s playground. The 220-foot wheel will feature 40 climate-controlled gondolas, making it a viable attraction all year round. Construction on the wheel has been delayed a few times, but Anthony Catanoso, the Pier’s president, has assured that the $14 million project will be finished in time for summer. Steel Pier.com.(tncms-asset)ef604422-c933-11e6-95f0-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
As fun as it is to see musicians from yesteryear come to Atlantic City and prove to the world they’ve still got it, it’s refreshing to see some young stars roll through. Fortunately for 2017, Boardwalk Hall is the place to be for headliners still in their prime. The All Stars of Hip-Hop show on Jan. 15 will feature such names as Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, DMX and more. Florida Georgia Line will “cruise” there on March 17 after having their A.C. beach concert cancelled due to Hurricane Hermine last year, and The Weeknd — perhaps the biggest name we’ll see in Atlantic City this year — brings his “Starboy: Legend of the Fall” tour to Boardwalk Hall on May 19. Boardwalk Hall.com.(tncms-asset)c858b374-9f84-11e6-9585-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Michael Symon’s Angeline
Borgata dominates the Atlantic City scene when it comes to star chefs, with restaurants like Wolfgang Puck American Grille, Geoffrey Zakarian’s Sunroom and Bobby Flay Steak. Even so, this year they’ll add another feather to their cap with Michale Symon’s Angeline. The Iron Chef’s newest venture will focus on the food Symon grew up eating — Italian. Angeline, named after Symon’s mother, will occupy the 8,200-square-food space formerly taken up by Michael Mina’s Seablue.(tncms-asset)fbae7604-a5cf-11e6-8733-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
“My mother is Greek and Sicilian, so they are the foods I grew up eating as a kid and where a lot of my food memories started, so this restaurant is a love letter to my mom,” Symon says.
Symon’s Borgata endeavor makes the resort the only place in the world with four Iron Chefs under one roof. The Borgata.com.
Linwood food hall
A concept akin to Philly’s Reading Terminal Market will come to Linwood in 2017. Developer Gerry Bird is spearheading the project, where independent restaurants will occupy a 17,000-square-foot space on Route 9, all clustered around one bar. The specifics of the eatery remain vague, with an opening date pinned at mid-year, but it has the potential to be groundbreaking for South Jersey.
There have been a lot of empty promises about the former Revel. Owner Glenn Straub has made some wild claims about the property in the past — that it would become a school for geniuses, that it would house Syrian refugees, that it would open in mid-June 2016 despite having inadequate permits, and that he would give $10,000 to anyone who could come up with a compelling name for it. He even disowned the building after getting frustrated with CRDA officials, saying, “I’ll go back to Miami, go back to Palm Beach, go back to Ohio, go back to West Virginia. How many other people are spending money?”
But after all that, it seems that Revel, rebranded as TEN will open in the first half of 2017. Whether the property will include a ropes course, high-speed rail lines and a water park, all plans formerly laid out by Straub, remains to be seen. TENACNJ.com.
Manco & Manco superstore
One of Ocean City’s most popular pizza joints Manco & Manco will open a huge new flagship location this year. The former Strand Theatre on 9th Street and the Boardwalk, which closed in 2014, will house the mammoth Manco & Manco. It is expected include a boutique retail store and more seating, something sorely needed in a place as popular as Manco & Manco. Additionally, they will also sell more than just pizza for the first time. The 8th and 12th streets locations will remain open, in addition to the superstore. MancosPizza.com.
Chef Jose Garces at Tropicana
Borgata isn’t the only casino scoring big names in the culinary world. Philly-based Chef Jose Garces will open up a restaurant in Tropicana Atlantic City in the New Year, amidst a $40 million casino-wide renovation. Set to snuggle in among the casino floor, the restaurant will focus on offering varied, high-quality seafood dishes. Garces will bring with him the Latin-inspired hospitality that he has come to be known for, adding yet another culinary great to Atlantic City. Tropicana.net.(tncms-asset)d62e89da-c205-11e6-bb1b-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Flogging Molly at Beer Fest
The 2017 A.C. Beer and Music Fest is reason alone to look forward to the New Year. With almost 200 breweries offering up nearly 1,000 different kinds of beer, this festival, taking place March 31 and April 1, is not to be missed. Sweetening the pot is Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, who will supply the latter element of the Beer and Music Fest 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. March 31. Flogging Molly is perhaps the biggest band to ever play the festival — a fantastic addition to the massively popular event. ACBeerfest.com.
The Atlantic City and Wildwood beach concerts
There have been no announcements yet as to who will perform at either the Atlantic City or Wildwood beach concerts but, regardless, they’re always something to look forward to. The 2015 beach concerts brought such names as Jimmy Buffett, G Love and the Zac Brown Band to South Jersey. Wildwood, specifically, upped their game this year with Tim McGraw as their headliner and special guests Hunter Hayes, Maggie Rose and Shot of Southern. Hopefully 2017 brings even bigger names to the sands. ACBeachConcerts.com, WildwoodBeachConcerts.com.(tncms-asset)ccaf5cb5-99bb-5324-a528-c3e222e24cff(/tncms-asset)
Somers Point Beach Concert Series turns 25
One of the most popular and consistent beach concert series around is turning a quarter of a century old this year. The Somers Point Beach Concert Series is a beloved summer tradition for many, bringing local, national and international musicians to the beach. Guests are invited to set up their beach chairs and coolers, kick back and enjoy the wide-ranging musical lineup provided by the series all summer long. SomersPointBeachConcerts.com.
Thursday night music series in Smithville
The legendary bar Tony Mart will live on in a music series called “Rockin’ with the Jersey Devil,” set to premiere in the Smithville Square this summer. The Tony Mart team will produce this endeavor, which aims to bring both international and local musicians to Smithville, recreating the feel that once existed within the walls of Tony Mart. The concept is similar to its Somers Point Beach Concert Series: insanely talented musicians in a laid-back venue. TonyMart.com.
Irish brunch at Hard Rock
Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Café is still rocking, despite the closure of Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. during the off-season, and regularly during the summer, they offer an acoustic brunch, which is exactly what it sounds like — a special brunch menu paired with a live acoustic act. They held one of these brunches last year just before the kick off of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, to much success. So, the Irish brunch will be back in 2017, coupled with an acoustic act with Celtic flair. Guests can expect dishes like steak and eggs, chicken and waffles and their Rockin Corn Flake Crusted French Toast, paired, of course, with cocktails like their Bloody Mary and Mango Tequila Sunrise. HardRock.com.
The Pool After Dark’s update
To celebrate its 10th birthday, The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort is getting a facelift — a multi-million dollar facelift. Closing after its Jan. 11 Wet n Wild Wednesday party and slated to reopen in early March, The Pool will receive a new stage, an elevated DJ booth with and LED video wall, an updated sound system, a redesigned loft gaming area, new cabanas, daybeds and lounge furniture, and an open floor plan, along with refreshed jacuzzis and pool. Frequent Pool-goers may see this as a downside of the New Year, but the payoff will be more than worth the temporary closure.
Harrah’s, too, will receive a $30 million renovation. By summer the resort is likely to have revamped rooms and suites, a new fitness center and an enhanced food court. Harrahs.com.
Somers Point’s Gateway Playhouse to reopen
Somers Point’s Gateway Playhouse has been shuttered since 2006. However, the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey has been working hard to raise enough money to reopen the theater, utilizing donor contributions to finish the job. Because of their dedication, after a seven to eight month renovation, Somers Point will soon have a new outlet for the arts in 2017 when the Playhouse reopens, most likely during the summer. GatewayByTheBay.org.(tncms-asset)78675926-c7be-11e6-ab97-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Atlantic City Weekly’s Wing Wars
Our sister publication Atlantic City Weekly has a full year of exciting events ahead — the Nightlife Awards, Top 40 Under 40, Burger Bash, the Health, Wellness & Fitness Expo and 50 Bites, to name a few. However, this year they’re spicing things up, quite literally, at the first ever Wing Wars. A.C. Weekly has rounded up 15 restaurants known for their top-notch wings for a battle of the birds, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Haven in Golden Nugget Atlantic City. A $25 ticket gets you access to all the wings you can eat and a vote for your favorite. The spot with the most votes will be crowned king of the wings. For tickets go to ACWeekly.com/WingWars.(tncms-asset)0898d174-c796-11e6-a5a5-00163ec2aa77(/tncms-asset)
Stockton’s ‘48 Blocks’
Stockton University and the Atlantic City Arts Foundation have teamed up to create an art initiative called “48 Blocks.” Throughout the last weekend in June, they will produce eight projects in each of the six wards of the city, totaling 48 events. Each ward will participate in two specific projects: a collection of oral histories and the creation of a unique Adirondack chair. The other six events will be up to residents, to encourage creativity within the community. Anything goes with “48 Blocks” — varied art forms and productions are encouraged. Stockton.edu.
Coastal Craft Kitchen + Bar
It’s out with the old and in with the new at Harrah’s Resort, as the restaurant Sammy D’s will be revamped and rebranded as Coastal Craft Kitchen + Bar. With the departure of Chef Sam DeMarco, Harrah’s decided to fill a void in their culinary offerings by bringing in a restaurant that will feature modern bar food, coastal cuisine and an expansive beer and cocktail menu. Set to open Presidents’ Day weekend, the menu has been put together by Executive Chef Robert Schoell and Coastal Craft’s Chef Nicolas Faucher, with help from Harrah’s seasoned mixologists. Coastal Craft Kitchen + Bar will have an aesthetic to match the menu — a modern, casual, coastal vibe complete with TVs and free pool tables.