Brown Room Cape May Renovated

Cape May, New Jersey (April 30, 2019)  Odds are, if you live close by or have visited Cape May in the past two months, you’ve experienced the Brown Room redux. The absence was painful for us locals but the rewards and fabulous service have returned. 

Congress Hall is proud to debut the newly imagined Brown Room, just in time for the iconic lounge’s 85th anniversary.  In the true spirit of Cape May’s landmark hotel, the Brown Room’s restoration is inspired from the past, channeling its own 1950’s vibe and design, bringing back a larger, swanky bar and a Parquet floor.

Curtis Bashaw, Managing Partner of Cape Resorts, understands the importance of freshening things up while maintaining traditions, especially at the more than 200 year old Congress Hall.

“Congress Hall has lived through so many different times in our country’s history – when it opened in the summer of 1816, the US flag only had 15 stars,” said Curtis Bashaw.  “The 1950’s were a remarkable time in our history here at Congress Hall.  Travel was booming and Cape May bustling. The Brown Room was a hot spot for vacationers and it’s that iconic look and feel that we want our guests today to enjoy.  We believe present day visitors will love the combination of old and new we’ve been able to create for this makeover.”

Colleen Bashaw, Cape Resorts Interior Designer, has worked diligently to channel the Brown Room of yesteryear, creating a contemporary, yet classic look.  She has put together an incredible collection of colors and materials that are luxurious, yet comfortable, with a touch of whimsy.  Custom chocolate brown ‘Chinois Palais’ wall covering by Shumacher anchors the design palette along with beautiful Quadrille fabrics.

“When doing the design, I kept reminding myself that this was THE room in the big beach house that everyone loves to think of as their own, said Colleen Bashaw.  “I wanted it to feel classic and familiar yet also incredibly special.  The kind of room you have a fancy cocktail in. The kind of room you meet old friends in.  The kind of room you look a little better in because the light glows just right.”

The renovated Brown Room still exudes its’ iconic charm with a relaxed yet elegant vibe.  A new, larger bar along with new plush banquets offers guests more seating while sitting by the fire and enjoying live music.  The perfect place to meet for cocktail before or after dinner or a nightcap, the Brown Room boasts the same impeccable service it has become known for over the past eight decades. The friendly bartenders add to the timeless elegance by sporting new white jackets, a true nod to classic cocktail bars of the past.

The Brown Room is open 7 days a week.

Monday-Thursday 3pm – midnight

Friday and Saturday 11am – 1am

Sunday 11am – midnight

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  1. Hugh My
    May 1, 2019 / 10:37 am

    Good pics John. You’re right about getting used to the physical changes but it’s great to set most of the staff back. It’s a grand room yet a comfortable room. Great article.

  2. David Greene
    May 1, 2019 / 12:22 pm

    Wonderful to hear this, Mr. Cooke! Thank you for the information and photos. As always, I depend on your brilliant blog. I look forward to visiting the Brown Room at least a couple of times this month, and am looking forward to seeing the wonderful renovations. The former Brown Room itself is a tough act to follow. Again, thank you Mr. Cooke!