Atlantic County Magazine - Submitted by Judy Brenna (Communications Director, GACCA)
Catering & Special Events Director, Blue Dog Hospitality Group
((The house lights in the theatre dim, the audience begin to look around and murmur… there is chatter among the crowd. A spotlight shows on a man in a 3-piece suit who gracefully walks across the stage and up to the microphone. The crowd is silent. He adjusts the microphone stand and taps the mic twice to check for volume. He looks out to the crowd, takes a moment to collect himself then speaks, “Ladies and Gentlemen. I present to you… Judy Brenna”. The crowd erupts in a thunderous applause…)). Wishful thinking.
Well, hello there! I missed you. I missed this. After a very long hiatus, I have returned, refreshed, renewed, with far more white hairs than I care to admit, but I am here, nonetheless! I am thrilled to announce my return as interim Communications Director for the Greater Atlantic City Concierge Association. I have been on many (mis)adventures since my departure, some fairly interesting, some we will forgo the chunky details, but all in all, I cannot express how happy (and relieved) I am to be back at it ((lacing up my new Nike runners)), your little foot soldier for the hospitality industry. And yes, to answer your question, I am still at the Deauville Inn, in Strathmere, NJ., fulfilling all the brides’ visions and needs. We have since expanded to a hospitality company, Blue Dog Hospitality Group, consisting of The Deauville Inn, Yesterday’s Creekside Tavern, Captain Obadiah’s Seafood Market, and Right Turn Liquors, and sure we can get into that down the road, but what I really want to talk about is my return experience.
There couldn’t have been a more perfect way to do it. My first day back was at our Annual Board of Directors Election Dinner, held this year at Il Verdi in the Tropicana. What made this dinner more exceptional than others in the recent past, was the presence of the Philadelphia Concierge Association. An alliance has been reforged, which can only mean the best things to come with this partnership. There was a certain, palpable electricity in the air that night, and I’m pretty sure everyone felt it. Maybe it was the fact that the Philly Concierge was there. Maybe it was the speech Doreen Prinzo made. Maybe it was the calamari. Regardless, the night was glorious, and so was seeing all the faces, of which I was surprised I missed. I might have even gotten a little choked up at one moment, but we won’t talk about that ((clearing throat)).
First of all, let’s talk about Il Verdi! Since my exodus at the Tropicana, so many things have changed and upgraded that I wasn’t aware of. Aside from the big one, which we all know, Caesar’s Entertainment acquiring the property, as well as the many new tenants ((note to self, I must try some of these places)), Il Verdi relocated. So, you can imagine my surprise when I rolled up to the casino floor, after not being on property since October of 2020, intending to go left, but the signs read “go right”. I was perplexed and a bit concerned because I thought I might have had a stroke during Covid, unbeknownst to me, and suffered memory loss. But then I understood. Parked in the old spot where Olon used to be, the venue is expansive, and impressive. From the very inviting front bar upon entrance, the crisp and flowing fabrics, and the ornately carved wood accents in the dining room, it’s a bright, fresh, revamped take on coastal, rustic-luxury dining. They have offered delicious, authentic Italian cuisine for over 40 years, including the best antipasti around, plus handmade pasta and other delicious Italian delicacies, but this is such an impressive and refreshing face lift, with that GORgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean, that the atmosphere makes the food taste even better. We will be doing a spotlight later this month on Il Verdi, but I could not resist touching on this. Their group dining experience was glorious. The food was tantalizing the palates, the vino was flowing, the company was awesome. La notte era la perfezione!
I am genuinely excited to start reporting on the best happenings around Atlantic (and perhaps Cape May) County, sharing venue spotlights, and can’t wait to see what this new adventure with the GACCA has instore for me. Stay tuned for our Annual Newsletter releasing at the end of February, and a little facelift of our own to the GACCA website! It’s good to be home. Until next time…