Party Bus Atlantic City
January 10, 2012 by staff
Party Bus Atlantic City, Easing the cumbersome door ajar, I manage to squeeze into a cosy dining area, illuminated by candy-coloured fairy lights and giving off that ambience of a place steeped in secrets.
After taking a seat a waitress promptly offers me a pint of Guinness, which takes me by surprise. It is only 10am after all.
I’ve stumbled across Atlantic City’s 24-hour, Irish Pub, a popular haunt that has remained untouched since the 1920s.
Over the decades this friendly local has welcomed gamblers and gangsters alike and today it is one of the city’s must-see attractions.
It is also among many original Prohibition era businesses harking back to the heady days of flappers, jazz and the Charleston that have been boosted by the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
Opting for a glass of ‘soda’ over a pint of the black stuff, I am shown around the grotto-like, pub-come-hotel, which has acted as a speakeasy, casino and even a brothel over the years.
The walls are encrusted with an eclectic mix of memorabilia, while the ceilings are papered with original black and white newspaper cuttings, offering a taste of American life almost a century ago, when alcohol was illegal and organised crime was rife.
You can book a room here for a bargain $25 a night but there’s no running water in most of the suites and owner Cathy Burke tells me it can get cold in the winter, and then there are those two pesky ghosts that haunt the building…
With a penchant for showering, and not wanting to feature in an episode of Most Haunted I bid a fond farewell and check in at the rather more glitzy Caesars, which is one of eleven casino hotels in the area.
Like its rivals, Caesars is less a hotel and more a shopping mall on a grand scale. Even after a whole weekend’s stay I still find it tricky to navigate, despite extensive signage.
Boasting a Roman Empire theme there are 1,158 rooms, 3,400 slot machines, nine restaurants, three nightclubs and a luxury shopping mall, housing 75 shops within the complex.
I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of casinos – the swirling-patterned carpets and sound of slot machines make my head spin – but I soon realise why these colossal empires of fun do so well.
I fill a morning at an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, spend the afternoon shopping and opt for a spot of late night dancing after dinner, before heading back to my room for a good night’s sleep.
HBO may film most of the 1920s Atlantic City drama in New York, but here just two hours south – if you can tear yourself away from your plush hotel – remnants of Nucky Johnson’s decadent world are certainly still visible.
Johnson was the Treasurer of the Atlantic City Republican Party and is the inspiration behind the television series’ lead character Nucky Thompson (played by Steve Buscemi).
While Prohibition was enforced across America in 1920s, Nucky decided that Atlantic City would be completely open, attracting thrill seekers who wanted to indulge in vices forbidden to them elsewhere.
He famously explained: ‘We have whisky, wine, song and slot machines. I won’t deny it and I won’t apologise for it.‘
Taking a stroll down the four-mile length of wood decking Boardwalk lacing the beach, I come across The Ritz’s art deco façade, the one-time residence of famous Nucky and where he allegedly welcomed mobster Al Capone.
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