Get ready for some Crabfries in Atlantic City as Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar will open inside the Tropicana Casino and Resort. And it sounds like it will be impressive.
“Chickie’s & Pete’s will be a fantastic addition to Tropicana Casino and Resort,” says Tony Rodio, president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment. “We are excited to welcome such a recognizable brand to the Tropicana family. It will be the best place to watch all of your favorite sporting events in Atlantic City.”
The two-story, 16,000-square-foot restaurant, which is expected to open this summer, will feature the Philadelphia institution’s famous Crabfries, a full menu and bar with great craft beer selections, more than 50 TVs, the latest in audio and video technology and much more.
“What better place to serve our world famous seafood and Crabfries than right next to the ocean,” says Pete Ciarrocchi, CEO of Chickie’s and Pete’s. “We are very excited to announce our relationship with the Tropicana and Atlantic City. The Tropicana is a world-class facility and we look forward to enhancing the guest experience by bringing our signature menu items and in-game experience to Atlantic City, where it is not all about gaming but also great food and great restaurants.”
The new Chickie’s and Pete’s, the second in the Atlantic City area that also includes an Egg Harbor Township location, will include its PLAY2 Interactive Sports Bar concept, which is also offered at the chain’s Broad Street location as well as inside Parx Casino in Philadelphia.
PLAY2 enables customers to create their own interactive entertainment experience while indulging in Chickie’s and Pete’s food and beverages inside “pods,” where people can do everything from pick what they want to watch on TV to play golf with Tiger Woods and bowl on the Wii gaming system for hourly rates. It’s like bottle service but way more fun.
“You can play Wii, Xbox or any kind of game in your own private area,” Ciarrocchi says. “Or you can just have your own TV and watch what you want with your friends. It’s very popular with bachelor and bachelorette parties, and believe it or not, the most popular games are the interactive dancing games.”
The first floor of Chickie’s & Pete’s will be located on the Boardwalk in the Marketplace section in store areas formerly occupied by Boardwalk Favorites and others, which will move into the former Corky’s location. The second floor of Chickie’s & Pete’s will be located right on the gaming floor and will take up previous gaming space.
“It will be one of our bigger locations; it’s not as big as South Philly, but bigger than Egg Harbor Township,” Ciarrocchi says. “I think the Atlantic City location will have a little more contemporary look to keep up with the times, so it will be a little nicer than some of our other locations. It will have more of a casino feel to it.”
Chickie’s & Pete’s opened as a small, neighborhood, family-run taproom in Northeast Philadelphia in the 1970s. Thanks to Ciarrocchi’s Crabfies — a unique, salty blend of seasonings on the fries and served with melted cheese — as well as Ciarrocchi’s charisma and marketing savvy, Chickie’s & Pete’s grew to a regional phenomenon with mini locations inside Philadelphia sports stadiums and arenas, boardwalks and amusement parks as well as 13 full-service locations. Chickie’s & Pete’s was also named the No. 1 sports bar in North America by ESPN.
The Tropicana is really shaking things up in 2013. Last week, I announced that Broadway Burger Bar will open this spring in the former Red Square location. And more changes will be announced soon.
“We will be selling lots of crabs and Crabfries right on the ocean,” Ciarrocchi says. “It’s just a perfect fit. We have stores on the Ocean City and Wildwood boardwalks, not Atlantic City will have us there, too. I’m really excited about it. I love Atlantic City and have a house at the shore. It’s just a great place. We think we’re in the right spot because nearly everyone that likes to gamble likes sports. And I don’t think anyone does it in A.C. like we do it. We will do it right.”
Steve Callender, general manager of Tropicana, says the addition is a great one.
“When you think of Chickie’s & Pete’s, you think of excitement and fun,” he says. “We are confident that the contagious atmosphere will carry over to our casino floor for an even more exhilarating guest experience.”