This supper club is ready.
Kelsey and Kim Jackson had two barbecue and soul food restaurants in Atlantic City and Pleasantville before opening their third location on the corner of Pacific and Kentucky avenues in early December. What sets the new place apart from their other locations — not to mention most of the other bars and restaurants in the city — is that they are regularly bringing in jazz, blues and R&B artists to perform on weekends while guests enjoy dinner or drinks. “We’re changing the concept,” Kim Jackson says. “This one is just geared toward the nightlife.”
Help revive a local legend
Kentucky Avenue was once home to a variety of bars and clubs that served not just as a social hub for the black community but also a destination for people of all races. It lost that glory long ago and there have been many efforts to restore its former reputation, with Kelsey’s the latest promising attempt at revival. “We envisioned trying to bring that Kentucky Avenue, Club Harlem-feel back to Atlantic City,” Kim Jackson says. In order to do so, they are hoping to attract a steady audience of locals and feature homegrown talent.
Night time is the right time
Kelsey’s opens at 4 p.m. for dinner, but only people 21 and older are allowed in from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The kitchen is open until 11 p.m, and you can order from the bar food menu even later. Live performances typically start around 6 p.m. and go until 10 p.m. or later.
Swing by the bar sometime
In addition to having more than enough tables and booths, Kelsey’s has an ample bar against its side wall, which also is lined with TVs. There is a good spot to enjoy the happy-hour specials from 5 to 8 p.m. with new items all the time, such as $2 domestic draft beers, $5 martinis and half-priced wine bottles on Wednesdays.
They plan to improvise
The owners plan to develop new features and promotions at the restaurant as they progress with ideas of offering karaoke on Sunday nights, a “gospel brunch” on Sunday mornings, poetry nights another day of the week and plenty more. Keep an eye out for new events as they get a feel for the space and what gets a good response.