Peppercom employees weren’t exactly thrilled when we announced a while back that we’d be marking our 15th anniversary with a clambake/party on the beach at Asbury Park, New Jersey. At first, they thought I was joking. Then, the jaws began dropping. Asbury Park? THE Asbury Park? That dump?
Aside from Camden, Trenton and the greater Montclair/Newark area, perhaps no other Garden State locale has a worse image and reputation than Asbury Park. It’s ironic, considering Asbury Park was once the place for 19th century presidents and millionaires alike to ‘Summer.’ It remained a top middle-class watering hole well into the 1960s. Sadly, though, Asbury Park then became a textbook example of suburban flight and urban blight. And, a mid-1990s attempt at revitalization failed miserably when the lead developer declared bankruptcy. As recently as five years ago, Asbury Park remained a ghost town.
Then, like the proverbial Phoenix, Asbury Park rose again.
Today, it boasts some amazing restaurants, clubs and boardwalk attractions. We held yesterday’s party at the Watermark, (pictured) a very cool, bi-level restaurant, lounge and bar directly across from a pristine beach replete with surfers, anglers and sun worshippers. The weather was perfect, the food and drink flowed freely and we partied hard, basking in Asbury’s reborn glory.
There’s already been quite a bit of buzz and word of mouth in the hood, but this place is in serious need of a public relations campaign. It’s a great spot to visit for a day, or more. In fact, who needs Jones Beach and all of its human and mechanized traffic when one has Asbury Park? I think our employees would agree.
Note to Peppercom alumni reading this blog: we plan to complete the 15th anniversary celebrations with an early October alumni gig at Desmond’s Tavern (specifics will be posted on LinkedIn). A favorite of Peppercommers past and present, Desmond’s always has been, and remains, a dump. You won’t find any Asbury Park type of renaissance going on at Desmond’s (which is why it’s ideal for a mingling of the past and present). Hope to see you there.