What’s New Around Cape May This Year?


What’s new around Cape May this year usually tops the list of frequently asked questions.

A visitor to Cape May went out of their way to thank me for including a link to Cape May restaurants in our reminder email. Usually, two days before arrival at the Sea Crest Inn, we shoot out an email confirming details of an upcoming stay. The link to Cape May Eats dot com, a site created by the former owners of the Mission Inn, lists area restaurants, their hours, and menus in detail.

With the rollback of outdoor dining, guests reported the link in our email smartly encouraged them to make reservations. The post-pandemic dining crush combined with staffing challenges could be a hurdle for guests. We seek to ease that struggle and make for a better experience.

Season of change

Rolling out changes seems to be a constant event this spring-summer in 2022. Notably, the closing of the Merion Inn may be the most dramatic change people will experience. Change is difficult at the most minimal levels. When a staple of visitors’  must-do places, goes away, people will gasp. “What about that potato cup?”

This change alone may top the list of what’s new around Cape May this year.

The Kulkowitz family promises something new and exciting for the property at 106 Decatur Street. Look for the Cricket Club to open this summer. As for the Merion, its history, and its gift certificates, that remains a mystery.

Also selling this year are The Montreal Inn and Beach Resort, but they opened early this spring, and Harry’s is keeping orange crushes on the bar menu. The marketing team there has stepped up their social media game to keep us informed. Local musicians continue to perform there too!

Oyster Bay on Lafayette Street has changed hands, and veteran restauranteur and West Cape May resident Gary Carda plans to keep oysters and flatbreads on the menu.

Behold, the old will become new.

Significant changes (read improvements) are underway at the Inn of Cape May. New ownership is renovating the old gal’s lobby. Aleathea’s will be reborn as Ocean 7, sporting new menus and complete decor redux.

Godmother’s, which has been closed for years, has new life. Grana Byob opened this week, steered by Carl Messick, renowned chef from Peter Shields Inn. Grana’s menu boasts regional cuisine in a casually elegant atmosphere. “We will utilize local and seasonal ingredients to produce our vision of modern American cuisine,” Messick said.

The list continues with the addition of the Lookout at the Ferry Park. It is spearheaded by the people from Exit Zero Filling Station and a team of veteran hospitality executives. The Lookout has spectacular views over the Delaware Bay, and dry-aged steaks, which I have been recorded as saying, “it was the best steak I ever had.”

In retail food, West Side Market on Broadway in West Cape May has reopened. Sporting a new look, logo, and very creative menu. And yes, they still carry fresh meats and Bell and Evans Chickens.

If you read this far, thank you. Someone will undoubtedly have something to add to our list. Feel free to post in the comments and we will circle back and update the blog.



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  1. Maryellen
    May 14, 2022 / 12:27 pm

    Always informative! Thank you.

  2. Ak
    May 14, 2022 / 3:21 pm

    Queen Victoria has been sold, too. It’s now just an investment property for two doctors in PA who kept some of the staff on to run it in their absence.

    • May 14, 2022 / 3:44 pm

      I think that sold a year ago, correct?

  3. Maggie Devine
    May 15, 2022 / 11:48 am

    Thanks John … this is a great update!!! Wondering what the former owners of the Mission Inn are doing now, I hope they have some type of business, they are great people!
    Thanks again!

  4. Bob
    May 16, 2022 / 1:40 pm


  5. David Greene
    January 3, 2023 / 1:19 pm

    Thank you, John. You have a delightful list of things to be grateful for — variously sentimental, practical and fun!

    You’ve had a wonderful career and life so far, and it is kind to us and inspiring to us that you share so much of it with us.