Shamrock Beef & Ale closed in Wildwood last June after 80 years of history as one of the Jersey Shore’s most iconic bars.
The final months of the Shamrock’s race were marked by the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic and violations of New Jersey’s COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and bars, which put the company in hot water after management ignored rules regarding curfews, social distancing requirements and indoor dining regulations.
The New Jersey attorney general’s office suspended the bar’s liquor license, leaving owner Tom Gerace with few options to operate Shamrock. Its other restaurants, Castaway’s Pirate Bar and Club Amnesia, which were covered by the same liquor license and were part of the same complex on the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue, also closed last year.
But to preserve the history of the Shamrock Beef & Ale building, Gerace made a deal to save the bar’s original home by moving it to another property on Pacific Avenue.
The bar and restaurant opened in the late 1930s on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Pacific avenues as the Berwind Hotel. The property is considered a significant and well-maintained example of Queen Anne resort architecture, which was common in late 19th and early 20th century construction, particularly in Cape May.
As Wildwood became an increasingly popular tourist destination, many of its buildings saw their first floors converted into businesses, such as stores and restaurants. The Berwind Hotel was purchased in 1937 by Irish immigrant Cornelius Ward, who moved upstairs and opened the Shamrock Cafe for “drinking and socializing” on the first floor, the Wildwood365 news blog wrote on the week. last, citing information from Preserving the Wildwoods.
The original Shamrock was located inside this house prior to the construction of additions and the acquisition of adjacent properties in the following decades.
Gerace, who felt the property was a unique piece of Jersey Shore history, made a deal with a Philadelphia real estate investment company to move the house several blocks away.
“We are grateful to have been granted permission to relocate this iconic structure,” Gerace told Wildwood365. “I would be remiss if I did not personally recognize Joseph Byrne and his team at BG Capital, LLC for making this possible. The Shamrock building could have been demolished, but through our collaborative effort we were able to preserve this iconic piece. from Wildwood. ”
The building is expected to be moved on January 10.
The Shamrock Beef & Ale property was recently sold after Gerace held a clearance sale in June, getting rid of the bar’s equipment, furnishings and decorations. At the time, pReservists hoped to keep Shamrock’s original property intact and prevent it from becoming a parking lot.
“We are at risk of losing one of our oldest establishments in a historic building in the heart of downtown because of a parking quota that would permanently harm neighboring businesses and trigger a domino effect of rust,” said Preserving the Wildwoods in an email to Atlantic Press. City in June. “The demolition of the Shamrock will destroy Pacific Avenue.”
BG Capital is poised to play a significant role in the redevelopment of downtown Wildwood over the next several years, with several projects already planned along Pacific Avenue in the blocks surrounding the Old Shamrock.
The developer is expected to build a residential complex containing 38 townhouses and duplexes on the site of the former St. Anne’s / Cape Trinity School on East Magnolia Avenue, with homes running east to west from the Pacific to New Jersey Avenues and north to south of Magnolia to Glenwood avenues.
BG Capital also acquired all of the properties along the west side of the 3800 block of Pacific Ave. last January, including the vacant VFW Post 3509 building and the former Joey M’s La Piazza Cucina next door.
The company is also working on a 74-unit residential development on several lots on Pacific Avenue that will house international students who will come to work in the coastal city during the summer months, according to Press of AC.
Gerace praised BG Capital chairman Joe Byrne for working with conservatives to reach a resolution on the Shamrock property.
“Byrne understands that in order to build the future of Wildwood, you have to appreciate its past, which is the same approach they have taken throughout their development along Five Mile Beach.”