Drum roll, please. It’s June and it is time for the annual Who’s New, Who’s Moved, Who’s Gone edict.
Let’s start our sojourn with the 500 block of the Washington Street Mall. Many changes. The Lemon Tree Restaurant has been sold. The Red Monkey is in. Owner Don Donaldson of Peter Shields Inn, Moonfish Grill fame is the new owner. Atlantic Books is gone. Stewart’s Root Beer Restaurant is in. Bring on the root beer floats. In the Liberty Way section of the 500 block, Nautical Treasures is gone and Down by the Sea, formerly located along Beach Avenue in the Beach Theatre complex, is in. A Ca Mia Ristorante and A Ca Mia Bakery are now under new management.
Victorian Walk Gallery, in the 400 block of the City Centre Mall, is gone. They have relocated to Washington Commons at the corner of Ocean and Washington streets. Second Story Sweets, located right next to Victorian Walk Gallery, is also gone. Pӑno, owned and operated by John (Yanni) Karapanagiotis, is in. John is also the owner of one of Cape May’s favorite eateries, George’s, on Beach Avenue. Pӑno is Greek for “upstairs,” which is where the new eatery is located. It is a casual eatery with a large living-room style “dining” area – “very Borders bookstore-ish” – is how John describes it. Which is good, because also new upstairs in the City Centre Mall is a Cape Atlantic Book Co. We are told it is owned and operated by some of the former employees of Atlantic Books. Coffee and a good read – quite a nice change for the City Centre Mall. Jackson Mountain Café was closed for several weeks this winter, leading into spring, undergoing extensive structural renovations to the property. They reopened Memorial Day weekend.
In the 300 block, Jackson Street Boutique is gone. Louisa’s Chocolate Bar is in. That’s Louisa of Louisa’s Restaurant two doors down. They sell…can you guess? Chocolate bars. Around the corner, Andrew’s Ltd. Is gone and Lynn Arden Children’s Shop is now upstairs and down. We’re not sure if they were open last June when we did our last Who’s New, but we want to give a mention to petit Décor, located at the back of the mini-mall in the 300 block which also houses Uncle Charlie’s Ice Cream Shop and Import Bazaar. They opened last summer and have an array of home décor and gift items with a French/Italian design.
In Carpenter’s Square Mall, Bliss is gone and moved to 600 Park Boulevard in West Cape May. The owners, Mike and Nicole Boschen, have taken over Ella’s Good to Go bistro just around the corner on Carpenters Lane. Next to Bliss, Dorothy’s left last year. Off the Wall Art by local artist Peri is in that tiny little space. On the corner of Jackson Street and Carpenters Lane, the Merry Widow Shops have turned over. WKR Builders and DeSatnick Real Estate are both gone.DeSatnick‘s is now located at 1001 Lafayette Street, the former Tolz building. In their place: Cape May Olive Oil Co. Tasting Room and The Madd Potters’ Studio are open for business. Cape May Olive Oil Co. offers imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars, spreads, mustards, spices, salts, sugars, fresh bread, gift items, and more. Potters Amanda Leipert and Julie Hickman, formerly found in Woodland Village, specialize in functional pottery in this quaint studio and retail space. All pottery is food and dishwasher safe, as well as oven safe, up to 350 degrees.
On Ocean Street, Whiskers, at the corner of Ocean and Hughes streets, has been gone for a couple of years, the space has been rented to The White Store which has lovely giftware, jewelry, home décor and bedding. All in what color? That’s right. White. Well, predominately so. Very nice addition to that corner of the island. At 208 Ocean Street, Bamboo Shack is gone and Bamboo 208 is in. It is advertising itself as a boutique for men, women and children.
There have been some changes at the Washington Street Commons. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop has moved to the new Convention Hall location. As we said before, Victorian Walk Gallery is gone from City Centre Mall and moved into their new digs at the old Pete Smith’s location.
W.C. Gallery has been gone a couple of seasons now. Bonnie’s Toppings is in. Bonnie’s Toppings is a self-serve frozen yogurt eatery. Their motto is: Grab a cup, Fill it up. Weight it. To go or stay. That pretty much says it all. Around the corner, next to the Acme, By the Sea Realty is gone, nothing in its place as of yet. By the Sea Realty has moved to Bank Street Commons on, you guessed it, Bank Street. The space right next to By the Sea Realty has been vacant for quite some time. We think the last place to occupy it sold wraps – as in sandwich wraps. New to the spot is Nice Nails & Spa.
Along Washington Street, Heather’s Hair Salon has been gone for a while now; REMax of Cape May City is in. A few doors down, Gail Pierson’s Art District gallery is gone, but she is still in her original location, The Gail Pierson Art Gallery, right next door. At press time, the Art District space was still vacant. Dragon Fly Interiors has reopened – of course we didn’t know they had ever closed – but apparently they did and are also including a retail shop at their 670 Washington Street – the Prickly Pear Cottage – location.
Along the beachfront many changes, not the least of which is the May 25 opening of Convention Hall. There are two retail spaces allocated for the new facility, one is occupied by Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, which used to be in the old Solarium, and during the transition had two locations – in the Washington Street Commons and across the street in the Beach Theatre complex. They are now consolidated into the Convention Hall space. The other retail outlet is, at press time, still available, although City Manager Bruce MacLeod told us that once construction wrapped up at the site, retailers have begun to express interest in the space. Stay tuned for exciting details.
Across the street, at the Beach Theater complex, one HUGE gone is the Beach Theatre itself. It fell victim to the demolition crane in November. There is nothing but an empty lot. In the shopping complex, after many decades in Cape May, Zebop’s clothing store is gone. Nothing replacing it, as of press time. As we said earlier, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop and Down by the Sea gift shop are gone and relocated. Again, nothing replacing either of them at this time. The very popular Seafood Shanty is gone. The Real Enchilada is in.
Up the street, The Victorian Garden Restaurant has changed its name to Marq’s Pub. Smart idea seeing as how it is located in the Marquis de Lafayette Hotel. Moving up Beach Avenue to the 300 block, Blue Moon Pizza has moved to the old Petroff’s Candy and, more recently, Seaside Sweets location from its former 301 Beach Avenue. At 301, the former owners of George’s Restaurant are putting in a new eatery called Chills, selling crepes and smoothies. It is slated to be open June 6. Well Center for Massage is no longer on Beach Avenue but still very much available at their 110 N. Broadway location.
And that takes our journey over to West Cape May. On Park Boulevard, Media in Motion has moved around the corner next to Cape May Lumber. Cape May Organic Market is in Media in Motion’s old space. Typical of their Facebook page postings, they offer fresh grass fed sirloin steaks, pork chops, whole chickens, and beef patties. Always in stock: frozen grass fed ground beef, T-bone steaks, chuck roasts, stew cubes – all local. The big news over in West Cape May is the opening of the borough’s first liquor store, thus bringing an end to 138 years of being a dry town. Tom and Nancy O’Hara, of Uncle Bill’s Pancake House fame, bought the liquor license and in May opened Sunset Liquor. Gone from the Sunset Boulevard location is Vanthia’s Restaurant.
Moving out to Cape May Point, the General Store is gone and The Red Store is in. Cape May Point residents can still purchase sundries from the general store in the front, but Argentinian chef Lucas Manteca, from the Ebbitt Room, has taken over as chef.
In the old Copperfish location on the way out of town, 5 de Mayo Mexican Restaurant is in and Diana’s is out. 5 de Mayo opened last summer.
One new addition off the island is Cape May Brewing Company, located off Breakwater Road in the Cape May County Airport complex. Home brew with tastings from noon to 4 on Saturdays and hours expanding as the summer begins.
That’s all folks. If we have missed anyone, or worse, said someone was gone who is indeed still there, let us know. And we know you will. Happy Trails.