— by Bonnie Squires
Bart Blatstein, the Philadelphia-based real estate developer, believes in Atlantic City. He has created a new magnet to attract crowds to Atlantic City: The Playground. He previewed the first floor, T Street, recently, and wowed the huge crowds with his transformation of the back half of the first floor of what had been The Pier Shops at Caesars into seven different but inter-connected pub restaurants with performing space in each one. There is a different theme, music and menu for each of the restaurants, and the catering is all done by Chef Jose Garces. Butlered hors d’oeuvres were offered for hours as servers roamed the restaurants and hallways.
At the media preview, there were musical groups performing in every single space. You can find something for every musical taste, from rock to country to folk to blues, and everything in between. And at the very end of the pier there is a 2000-seat concert venue, called 39 North, which will book major musical acts, thanks to Philly-based music promoter Bonfire Entertainment.