Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Friday, April 6, 2012, 6:38 AM
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Chief Operating Officer Michael Frawley stands in front of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which is now offering gourmet restaurant experiences at diner prices. Photo: Associated Press

We Americans are pretty much wired to equate “discount” with a lack of quality or prestige. But it would be a mistake to apply that thinking to the three main restaurants at the Atlantic Club (formerly Atlantic City Hilton).

Earlier this year, the Atlantic Club, as part of its new strategy to become AyCee’s “locals” casino, announced it had significantly reduced prices at Patsy’s Trattoria (formerly Patsy's), its Italian eatery, Ono Chinese Bistro & Bar (formerly Ono), an Asian-centric outlet and the steak house, Simon AC (formally Simon Prime). The immediate (and unsurprising) reaction among some folks was that this strategy spelled the demise of gourmet dining at the casino-hotel that began life in 1980 as the Revel of its day, Steve Wynn’s Golden Nugget.

From a strictly financial perspective, this is true. Price points like the $8 now charged by Patsy’s for its clams casino appetizer, or the $17 for the double-cut pork chops at Simon AC puts these restaurants mostly on a par with your neighborhood pizzeria or diner. But while the prices have been slashed, little else has changed at the three rooms. That translates to the best dining value in Atlantic City.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 10:49 AM
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Despite a wildly successful opening day, there were a few glitches at Revel mega-resort. Photo: Revel Entertainment

There’s no denying Atlantic City’s $2.4 billion Revel mega-resort redefines “fabulous” and gives the beleaguered gambling capital a world-class, must-see attraction that simply is unlike anything North America has ever experienced. But that doesn’t mean everything was perfect during Monday’s opening day.

For instance, at least two of the five restaurants (out of a planned 14) that were doing business Monday—The Mussel Bar and Lugo Caffe--ran out of food Monday evening. The host at Lugo—which uses the double-“f” spelling in its name--explained they had planned to serve 150 dinners and would up at 220 before shutting down for the night).

Then there is the problem with the casino security cameras. It seems the existing cameras cannot operate properly in bright lighting. So, in the property’s superb new, 37-table poker room, the lighting was dimmer than it should have been. Otherwise, the video would have washed out and been ineffective. We heard the same holds true for all of the casino’s surveillance cameras, and that they will all soon be replaced.

POSTED: Monday, April 2, 2012, 11:35 AM
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This newly unveiled billboard on the Atlantic City Expressway indicates Trump Taj Mahal has come up with the one thing Revel will never have...

About this blog
Philly native Chuck Darrow has literally covered Atlantic City’s casino scene since Day One: He was there on assignment the night in November 1976 when voters approved legalized casinos.

Since then, Chuck has covered the town and its gaming industry for several area newspapers -- which is why, in some circles, he’s known as “Boardwalk Charlie.”

You can reach Chuck at Reach Chuck at

Chuck Darrow