From the Civil War to the end of World War I the Jersey Shore was a prestigious destination for presidents, celebrities and some of America’s most important families. Today, that reputation has suffered a bit of a setback as the shore has become a bit of a mockery of its’ former self. Figures like Snooki, J-Woww and ‘The Situation’ have become what people envision when they think about the actual Jersey Shore. But, for those that have grown up on or around (or even visited) the Shore know that it is a beautiful place to visit, especially as some of the historic towns along the New Jersey coastline are experiencing a bit of a renaissance.
Up until the 1920’s Long Branch, New Jersey was a vacation hotspot for presidents (like today’s version of Martha’s Vineyard). It had racetracks, casinos and idyllic sandy beaches. And then it all disappeared (until very recently). The town’s renaissance has been fueled by a driven community and some help from local contractors.
Developer’s Love for Beer
Preston Casertano, a local developer and property owner, announced last week that plans have been approved, by the city’s Planning Board, for the first phase of development for The Whitechapel Projects. It sounds impressive. While the project likely would have been frowned upon during Prohibition but with today’s demand for microbreweries and specialty beer the idea of a 14,500 square foot beer garden does not sound like a bad idea.
The 18 month long construction project will convert a vacant lot that had been previously inhabited by a pre-World War I warehouse into luxurious and sustainable attraction for lovers of live music, beer and good food. It will serve as a revival for the Broadway corridor of Long Branch by building off of the original World War I warehouse.
It will feature an outdoor (heated) beer garden, a music hall and an indoor pub. Such establishments are extremely popular in London which also happens to be Casertano’s source of inspiration. He hopes that Whitechapel will give people a reason to cross Ocean Boulevard (a reason they do not currently have). The project will serve as a starting point for a community looking to return to its’ former grandeur and as it begins to take shape it will give contractors a great opportunity for a bid.