1. Learn some American history from Tun Tavern. The original Tun Tavern dates back to pre-Revolutionary War days.
Located on Front Street in Philadelphia — where now just an informative plaque remains — and owned by a husband and wife who brewed their own beer, it was considered the country’s first brew house. It also served as a meeting place for the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. It was also the birthplace of the U.S. Marine Corps. Sadly, it was burned down in 1781. However, it witnessed a rebirth in Atlantic City when former Marine Montgomery Dahm opened his pub at the Sheraton Hotel in 1998. Tun Tavern is decorated in bold Marine colors — blue, red, gold — and also hosts a wide variety of events and fundraisers for the Marine Corps as well as police and firefighters. Those groups can always get a 15 percent discount there, too.
2. Like the original Tun Tavern, A.C.’s has their own brewery. Tun Tavern has its very own full-time brewmaster, Tim Kelly, who has been brewing beer since 2000. He personally hand crafts the Tavern’s beers and has the capabilities to create seven to 10 beers at any given time. Many of their beer names pay homage to this particular military branch such as Leather Neck Stout and Devil Dog Pale Ale. You can certainly enjoy these brewskies at the bar, but you can also take them home with you in a 64-ounce growler for $26 — then bring it back for a refill for only $16. They also have a growler club where you get a card stamped for every growler purchase — get six stamps and get the seventh growler fill free.
3. Anyone can be a VIP at Tun Tavern. Join Tun Tavern’s VIP program and take advantage of many member-only specials such as half-priced martinis and two-for-one dinners Mondays; buy one, get one appetizers Tuesdays; a $5 glass of house wine Wednesdays and $3 pints Thursdays. VIPs can enjoy $1 off beers, wine or cocktails, such their beloved red or white sangria ($10) or their exceedingly popular espresso martini ($10), any day of the week.
4. The weekends are loaded with great live music. Tun Tavern hosts live music every weekend 7 to 11 p.m. during “Finally Friday” and “Saturday’s Sizzle.” What you’ll hear mostly is just really good, laid-back local acoustic guitar players and singers. Some of the more popular groups that play there are Broken Strings Duo and Either Way. You also get the chance to hear from some soloists such as Willie Williams, Nick Moccia, Chris Huff and Dave Vroman. If you’re a VIP, you’ll get preferential treatment when it comes to getting a table with your guests.
5. The menu is larger than what you’d expect — for man and his best friend. Tun Tavern, which serves lunch and dinner, has menus that are bigger than what you find at most taverns. Sure they have soups, salads and sandwiches, but they also have entrees that include wasabi pan-seared tuna with basmati rice ($23.99), salmon Oscar with jumbo lumb crabmeat ($28.99) and a 12-ounce white marble pork chop ($22.99). If you’re looking for something lighter — and a bit smarter — get a PhD, aka “Piled High & Deep,” a large turkey breast sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon ($9.99), or a B.Y.O.B., “Build Your Own Burger,” 8 ounces of certified angus beef with an assortment of toppings to choose from ($9.99). And since the Sheraton is dog friendly, so is Tun Tavern. They even have a cute doggie menu of five entrees including “No Bones About It,” a roasted half chicken — deboned, of course — with spinach and barley ($12) and “Pup’s Delight,” 100 percent certified angus beef with rice that comes in a 5-ounce portion ($5) or 8-ounce portion ($8). And as a nice bonus to patrons — humans, mostly — get free four hour parking at the lot at Michigan and Baltic with any $10 purchase.
Where: 2 Convention Blvd., Atlantic City
When: Open 11:30 a.m. daily; closes midnight Sundays to Thursdays; closes 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
How big: Holds up to 250.
What to wear: Casual
What you’ll hear: Top 40 and classic rock
Who’s there: Just about everyone of all ages.
How much: No cover.
How to get more info: 609-347-7800; TunTavern.com
Owner: Montgomery Dahm
Evolution: In the ’90s, Tun Tavern Owner Montgomery Dahm began to hand-craft his own beer. He was looking for a place to sell his beer and open a restaurant. When he heard of an opportunity where the Sheraton was being built, he jumped on the chance.
Coming up: Nov. 10: Marine Corps birthday party — Celebrate the Marines with the A.C. Sand Pipers, a bagpipe band of retired A.C. firefighters. All branches of the military are welcome, as are civilians. Enjoy a delicious buffet — like a mess hall, but better — participate in a cake cutting with the oldest and youngest Marine at the event and more. Pints will be $2 from 7 to 10 p.m.