Third Time’s A Charm: Garces Is Headed Back To Atlantic City

Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City

Photo | Dan McQuade

So, I’m guessing no one has told the Iron Chef that Atlantic City is going through a bit of a rough patch, huh?

Or maybe Jose Garces just doesn’t care. Maybe he knows something we don’t. Maybe, at the tail-end of a $40 million renovation, the Tropicana in Atlantic City just looked like too good of a bet not to take (see what I did there?).

Whatever the reason, it was announced yesterday that Jose Garces was going to be heading back to Atlantic City in a big way, with “multiple, seafood-focused concepts” at the Tropicana, all slated to be open by the end of 2016.

There’s no word on names, concepts or spaces–other than that one or more of them will have boardwalk views and be right off the casino floor and that Garces is promising “Fun, new dining options.” Which could mean pretty much anything.

Last time Garces got involved in the A.C. scene, it was at the Playground, Bart Blatstein’s entertainment complex where he was (briefly) in charge of catering. That went…poorly. And before that, it was at Revel casino which tanked in 2014, taking down four Garces concepts with it–outlets of Amada, Village Whiskey and Distrito, plus a noodle shop called Yuboka. None of those are really seafood-focused though, so I’m kinda curious to see what the Garces team has planned for this third run at the Jersey Shore. One safe gamble? I bet he uses this expansion as an excuse to bring his Buena Onda fish taco concept to a new town.

We’ll see if I’m right as the season rolls on.

Jose Garces coverage [f8b8z]