Anchor Rock Club Aims to Amp Up Atlantic City’s Music Scene

The new venue emphasizes great sound and craft beer.

Anchor Rock Club Courtesy of Johnny Longacre

A new nightspot aims to “move the needle” on entertainment in Atlantic City with a one-two punch of rock music and carefully selected craft beer.

“The problem with Atlantic City is that it’s all about casinos,” says Johnny Longacre, owner of Anchor Rock Club, a 1,000-capacity venue on New York Avenue, one block from the Boardwalk.

Longacre—a craft-beer lover known in the Philadelphia area for his South Philadelphia Taproom, Brew and Second District Brewing Company—opened Anchor in late August at the location of the former Deja Vu nightclub, a few blocks south of Resorts Casino and the Steel Pier. The new club operates two bars on each floor; sight lines are excellent and the sound system promises to be world-class.”I spent the most money, time and effort on the sound,” Longacre says.

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He is also focusing heavily on the craft-beer selection.”What’s on tap is curated,” Longacre says. “No casino has anything like what we have.” The club also offers a menu of small plates, tacos and Mexican hot dogs.

As for music, Anchor plans to focus on local and regional acts; national names will also appear. Veteran indie rockers Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (September 20) and Marah (September 27) are slated to perform in the coming weeks. Tickets for most shows range from $10 to $20.

“We’ve only just begun,” Longacre says. “It’s going to get very interesting. We’re going to move the needle in Atlantic City. A rock club can move the needle in this town more than a generic $200 million project. Just watch.”

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