A new restaurant is coming to Avalon for the summer of 2024 and it has a liquor license thanks to the closing of a popular local bar seven years ago.

Welcome to Avalon, New Jersey Sign entering town from Townsend's Inlet Bridge
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The new establishment will be called the Black Cactus, a Mexican-style Restaurant that will be located at the corner of 27th Street and Dune Drive. Before it was demolished, there was a Coldwell Banker Real State on the corner for over a decade across the street from the Pirate Island Minature Golf.

Corner of 27th Street and Dune Drive in Avalon, New Jersey 2019
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The new restaurant owner is Ed Kennedy, a real estate developer who lives in Stone Harbor, is partnering with Chef Jason Cichonski from Philadelphia to develop the menu and hire the staff for the new South Jersey establishment.  Cichonski is a well-known chef in Philadelphia who runs the kitchen for three restaurants: Tulip Pasta and Wine Bar (Fishtown), Attico Roof Top (Cambria Hotel in Center City), and Messina Social Club (Near the East Passyunk Crossing).

Mexican Food and Drink
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Bringing a Philadelphia-area Restaurateur to South Jersey is not a new or unique move, with several establishments in Cape May County being the product of these types of business ventures.  Most recently, Sea Isle City has seen two new businesses in town, Anthony Foster's Restaurant opened in 2020 on 44th Street and Landis Avenue (moving to 86th Street in 2024) along with Bright Spot Cafe on 40th Street, owned and operated by Tommy Brower.

Welcome to Sea Isle City, New Jersey sign entering town from Avalon, NJ
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What makes the Black Cactus unique is it will be the only establishment offering Mexican-themed cuisine on Dune Drive in an environment that is a restaurant that serves cocktails.  Unlike The Princeton and The Whitebrier, which are popular destinations for Happy Hour and Nightlife Crowds, this new Restaurant will market itself to a clientele that is more interested in a good meal than in going out for drinks.

Mexican Appetizer and Drink
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One of the biggest reasons why this new business by Kennedy and Cichonski can become a reality for the Summer of 2024 is because an old school establishment closed in 2017.  Jack's Place (formerly known as Gallagher's Pub and The Black Eagle) stood at the corner of 36th Street and Ocean Drive for 96 years.  The bar and restaurant operated for 94 years before closing their doors then was demolished two years later.  The Liquor License was dormant and unused so Kennedy was able to purchase it for the Black Cactus from the City of Avalon for a reported $2 Million.

Jack's Place located at 36th street and Ocean Drive in Avalon, New Jersey from 2017
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Top 10 Things To Do This Off-Season in Cape May, NJ Area

Anyone who has lived in Cape May County knows that even though half the businesses close during the winter, the locals still love living in this area for many reasons. As someone who has lived in Cape May County for over 20 years, here are some of my favorite activities to do in the offseason:

Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media

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