THE WONDER BAR LIVES AGAIN
Operating on what really looks like its' ninth and final life, the world famous Wonder Bar, will
live to see yet one more summer of fun and music on the Jersey Shore. The historic night club,
the last of the remaining venues still in operation since the "glory days" of Asbury Park, will
reopen its' doors after a brief closing, on Friday night, April 13th.
After a somewhat long and controversial battle over condemnation and eminent domain issues, The
Wonder Bar was recently sold to Asbury Partners, the designated redeveloper of the Asbury Park
beach front, to make way for redevelopment of that site. Because of many reasons, most of them
common sense, Asbury Partners and Patrick Schiavino, owner of the Wonder Bar, have entered into
an agreement which will allow Schiavino to lease back the Wonder Bar for a six month period,
which will see the nightclub open into October, 2007.
"We have been through quite a stressful time with this. I have always said, and I still say that
I never wanted to stand in the way of redevelopment. It is good for the town, and lord knows we
need in badly here. What I never could understand is why take such a successful and popular
venue away from a town that is still starving for activity and tourism. With the help and
support of many of our patrons, musicians, townspeople and City Government, I think that we all
were in agreement to the validity of keeping the Wonder Bar open. Thousands of e-mails poured
into our site, and a petition was launched which numbered over 2,000 names. It was very obvious
that the people wanted us to stay open, so we worked out a deal with Asbury Partners. I have to
say that the developers were very fair with us, and I think that we made a good deal for
everyone. I am very excited to have the place back and opened for the summer, it's been a great
time, and we've seen a lot of good music and have made a lot of great friends. I'd like to
personally thank everyone, and I say this on behalf of Debbie DeLisa, Lance Larson, Rocky
Boniforte, my amazing staff, and myself, thank you all so much for your amazing support. This is
truly a great story for the Asbury Park archives.
Opening night will be April 13th. Entertainment will be "Asbury Fever" doing all the tunes that
made Asbury Park famous..... see details below.
We've picked Friday, April 13th to reopen because this date marks Asbury Park's celebration of
its' 110th year anniversary, and there will be a whole host of activities going on at the Asbury
Park beach front.... see information following:
Asbury Park Celebrates 110th Anniversary
110 Candles on a Carousel Cake made by the "Ace of Cakes"
You are invited as a special guest to a memorable celebration of the 110th Anniversary Party of
the incorporation of the City of Asbury Park in Convention Hall on Friday night, April 13th at
5:00pm. This party promises to be a once in a lifetime experience with such highlights as a
special Carousel cake that has been designed by the famous pastry chef, Chef Duff from the
popular series “Ace of Cakes” on Food Network (airs Thursdays at 10:30pm ET/PT). This 2 foot
one-of- a- kind round cake will represent the Asbury Park Carousel House with a rotating Carousel
inside with beautifully decorated horses strutting around and around. The Food Network will be
joining us for this very special event to film the lighting of the cake at the anniversary
celebration for their show.
As one of the most sought after cake decorators in the country, Chef Duff Goldman and his team
are inundated with requests and face impossible deadlines, aggressive brides and collapsing cakes
every day of the week. Because his cakes are so unusual, Duff's shop is outfitted like no other
bakery: with blowtorches, power saws, drill bits and pyrotechnics, it’s a combination bakery and
metal/woodworking shop all under one roof.
To light up the evening, one hundred and ten candles will be lit by honorees representing the
government, schools, musical heritage, businesses and youth of Asbury Park. “This 110th
Anniversary Party is a spectacular celebration of the past, present and future,” said Mayor Kevin
G. Sanders, City of Asbury Park. “Asbury Park is world renowned in its own unique way because of
the contributions of the individuals from the past and the present that are being honored.”
A highlight of the evening is the dynamic Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s masterful performance of
ragtime music that is an important piece of Asbury Park’s musical heritage going back to the days
of Arthur Pryor performing on the boardwalk.
The Historical Society of Asbury Park dressed in period costumes dating back to the early part of
the 1900’s will be greeting guests and will also have a table display of old photos and
memorabilia of Asbury Park.
In order to capture the 110 years of the history of Asbury Park, a special magazine , “110 Years,
Celebrate Asbury Park” containing articles, photos, a calendar of Celebrate Asbury Park events
and a directory of businesses in the city, will be given as a memento to the attendees of the
anniversary party. This magazine has excerpts from several books written about Asbury Park
including Helen Pike’s excerpt from Asbury Park’s Glory Days: The Story of an American Resort and
Madonna Carter Jackson’s Asbury Park: A West Side Story. These authors will be available to sign
the magazine and their books at the Party.
Chef Duff Goldman began cooking at age four, started cooking professionally at 14, and has been
working in kitchens ever since. He worked for acclaimed Baltimore chef Cindy Wolf at Charleston
restaurant while attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After graduating, Duff
left Baltimore to study pastry at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley, CA.
While in Napa, Duff was a stagiere at French Laundry, working under acclaimed Pastry Chef Steven
Durfee. Duff left California to become Executive Pastry Chef of the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort
in Vail, CO. He then went to work for Executive Chef Steve Mannion at Todd English’s Olivers in
Washington, DC. In 2000, Duff returned to Baltimore to open Charm City Cakes. Baking and artistry
has always been in his blood – his great-grandmother was a baker and a weaver, his grandmother an
art enthusiast who also did enameling and photography, and his mother Jackie is an artist working
in ceramics and stained glass. Duff also studied at the Concoran School, one of the top art and
design schools in Washington, DC, and was at one time a graffiti artist of some notoriety.
The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world's only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating
"America's Original Music" - the syncopated sounds of early musical theater, silent cinema, and
vintage dance. The PRO came into being as the result of Rick Benjamin's 1985 discovery of
thousands of turn-of-the-century orchestra scores once belonging to Victrola recording star
Arthur Pryor. In 1988 the Orchestra made its formal debut at Alice Tully Hall - the first concert
ever presented at Lincoln Center by such an ensemble. Since then PRO has appeared at hundreds of
leading arts venues, including the Ravinia Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, the Chautauqua
Festival, the Brucknerhaus (Austria), the New York 92nd Street Y, and the American Dance
Festival. In 1999 PRO's music inspired master choreographer Paul Taylor's new dance Oh You Kid!
which was premiered at The Kennedy Center jointly by the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the
Orchestra. In June, 2003 the PRO presented the premier of Rick Benjamin's new reconstruction of
Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha at San Francisco's Stern Grove Festival.
A special presentation of NJN's Greetings from Asbury Park movie will be shown followed by
sparkling fireworks over the beach. This truly spectacular celebration is not to be missed!