Will Revel Be a Monument to Atlantic City’s Broken Dreams?

Photo | Jen A. Miller

Photo | Jen A. Miller

On Thursday morning last week, I stepped onto the escalator from Revel’s lobby to head down to the Boardwalk. It was windy. I could tell not just because I could see dune grass blowing in the breeze, but because I could feel it — inside the building. The wind hit me in the face, and shook the sculptures hanging from the ceiling, which I had been told on my pre-opening tour of Revel weighed as much as a car — each.

That afternoon, Revel would file for bankruptcy for the second time since opening in 2012, attaching to it a threat to shut down by August 18th if it did not find a buyer. If that does happen, it’ll join Showboat, which will close in August, and the Atlantic Club, which closed in January  as boardwalk gambling ghosts.

A lot of things went wrong with Revel, mostly that it was a casino conceived at the peak of Atlantic City’s gambling monopoly, and opened near the bottom. It came onto the market with far too much debt, and took an even greater risk in trying to place itself above the typical Atlantic City gambler by limiting the number of slot machines and banning smoking. Now, the $2.4 billion casino is on the verge of closing, taking a $260 million investment from the state of New Jersey with it. Read more »

Garces Opens Yuboka at Revel in Atlantic City

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Iron Chef and James Beard Awarding winning chef Jose Garces has opened Yuboka, a new restaurant at Revel in Atlantic City. Yuboka serves dim-sum, Asian-inspired small plates, and bowls of noodle soup. The 36-seat noodle bar, right next to Amada on the casino floor, is designed for a quick, cheap meal and takeout for lunch, dinner, and late-night dining. Highlights include chicken wings with spicy garlic-ginger sauce; a lamb burger; seafood noodle soup with poached shrimp, crab, Taiwanese barbecue sauce, crispy shallot, and udon noodles; and dumplings, some of which will be brought in from Philadelphia’s Dim Sum Garden. The restaurant will also serve cocktails, beer, wine, sake, and tea.

Garces is also bringing his Distrito Cantina Food Truck (formerly Guapo’s Tacos) to the boardwalk at Revel Beach. Every Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., the truck will be serving up Garces’ Mexican bites for beach-goers to enjoy.

Revel [Official Site]

Relish Opening at Revel AC

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Relish, the newest restaurant on the lineup at the Revel in Atlantic City, will open its doors on Saturday, May 18. Relish will be offering an affordably priced menu right on the casino floor. The soon-to-be 24-hour cafe will be serving breakfast dishes, homemade pastas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups, and other classic comfort foods. Highlights of the menu include a cheesesteak, a breakfast burger with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, potato gnocchi with italian sausage in a tomato fennel broth, chicken and waffles and a beef stroganoff with egg noodles, beets, pickles, and sour cream. The restaurant will begin its full 24 hour service with breakfast in June, right in time for the summer shore rush. 

Relish [Official Site]

Garces Opening Asian Noodle and Dim Sum Concept at Revel Resort

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Revel might be in bankruptcy but the troubled Atlantic City casino is still battling. The resort is considering reversing its no smoking policy and is implementing other changes to widen its appeal.

One of those modifications will involve chef Jose Garces. Garces, who has three restaurants at the resort (Distrito, Village Whiskey and Amada) is now looking to open a new Asian noodle and dim sum concept.

Garces Group is hiring for the restaurant and is currently looking for an executive sous chef with experience in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. The noodle bar will replace the former Plancha Bar. No word on an opening date.

Executive Sous Chef – Jose Garces’ Asian Noodle Bar [f8b8z Jobs]
Revel opens temporary restaurant [AC Insiders]

Revel Looking for $100 Million to Get Through 2013

Revel Resorts opened in Atlantic City this past April to great fanfare but it hasn’t produced results where they count most, the gambling floor. The casino has ranked eighth each month in gambling revenue since its opening. The casino is to double its revolving credit to $100 million in order to give it more flexibility through 2013.

With average daily room rates of $211, the hotel occupancy rate of 45 is way below the industry average of 87 percent. Revel spokesman Joseph Jaffoni says that group meetings and food and beverage sales have been strengths. Reassuring, considering the culinary fire power assembled.

If the casino, which has been hyped as a game changer in Atlantic City doesn’t extend its credit, it could be looking at bankruptcy.

Revel seeks $100 million financing deal to get through 2013 [Press of Atlantic City]
Revel’s rocky launch [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Revel Resorts [Official Site]

Taste of Revel Offers Celebrity Chefs at Every Turn

Revel in Atlantic City is collaborating with Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure to throw a humungous celebrity chef driven food event on the weekend starting Friday, May 18th. Taste of Revelrunsthrough Sunday the 20th with Revel’s Iron Chefs, Michelin star earners and James Beard Award winners hosting a weekend of parties, tasting events and dinners. And the prices aren’t too bad all things considered.

Among the Taste of Revel Highlights »

Jose Garces Openings At Revel In Atlantic City

Opening one new restaurant is tough. Opening two? That’s crazy. But Jose Garces (who, I think, must have access to both a jet pack and a time machine what with his sudden explosion of interstate restaurant openings) will, come April, be opening three new restaurants, in Atlantic City, all within 14 days.

Then, when he’s done, he’s going to ride his bike from A.C. to Paris, fight Mike Tyson and eat the entire moon in a single sitting.

The Details

Chef Shuffling: Starr Chefs to Former Starr Chefs

In addition to the big news that Walter Abrams is coming to Philadelphia via San Francisco and the French Laundry to be the new guy at Le Bec-Fin, there is a lot of other chef news.

Mike Santoro, who was the opening chef at Talula’s Garden and came to Philadelphia from DC’s Blue Duck Tavern, is opening his own restaurant in the former James space on 8th Street. Eater reports that Michael Dorris will be his partner and they are aiming to open in June. [Philly Eater]

What’s happening in the Starr System »

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