Revel’s Mussel Bar, chef Robert Weidmaier’s first establishment outside of the Washington D.C. area, has an upbeat but down-home vibe.
Atlantic City has always been known for its diversified culture and corresponding assortment of pubs, taverns and local retreats, but most likely the only one replicating a bona fide, old-world, Belgian-style roadhouse is sited inside Revel.
The Mussel Bar is the fifth establishment owned by chef Robert Weidmaier and the first he’s created outside the Washington, D.C. area. It’s themed along the lines of the haunts he and his friends/culinary colleagues used to frequent in Europe (Weidmaier lived in Germany and in the homeland of his father, Belgium, prior to coming to the United States), which is one of a warm, welcoming ambience, a rock ‘n’ roll vibe, and a seemingly inexhaustible selection of beers.
The Mussel Bar has about 30 craft beers from around the world on tap, including its signature brand called Antigoon, brewed and licensed exclusively to the Mussel Bar from Belgium, and another 150 or so brands in bottles. It also features live music every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night starting around 11pm and going until 3am on weekends. Interspersed throughout a typical week are events like Retro Can Beer Night (Tuesdays, 4pm-midnight) where guests can choose any two cans for $5; Industry Local Night every Thursday starting 9pm; a Monday-through-Friday, 4-6:30pm Happy hour (with $5 drafts, $5 glasses of red and white wines, $6 prairie [organic] vodka drinks, and $10 Belgian pizzas or half-orders of mussels); and a brunch (10am-3pm Friday and Saturday) that features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.
“We put out fresh tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, peppers, onions, bacon strips, homemade pickles, and infused vodkas like bacon-, horseradish- and chili pepper-infused vodka,” says Lexie White, the Mussel Bar “director of vibe.”
“People love it. Every Thursday for Industry Night we’ve teamed with Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly [nightclub in Revel] to allow you to bring your Mussel Bar receipt and get into the club free before midnight.”
Industry Night also features $5 Absolut bombs and mixed drinks, $5 Jameson mixed drinks, $4 house beers, and giveaways between live music sets. The entertainment changes weekly and has presented on a regular basis such bands as local favorites Love & Branca and Private Stock.
"Our experiences at Mussel Bar have been great," says guitarist/vocalist Drew Love of the Ocean City-based Love & Branca. "The staff is really nice and very knowledgeable about the food and their enormous beer selection. Crowds have been pretty good on the Thursdays we've played. Customers usually respond really well to the music and it's the perfect kind of place to go with friends, drink some good, unique beers and listen to live music. It sort of has a Roadhouse feel to it — there's a Harley [Bourget] hanging from the ceiling and the decor is very cool. All in all it's one of our favorite places to play for sure."
On Saturday (Aug. 18) a three-man Washington, D.C.-based acoustic trio called the Black Muddy River Band returns to Mussel Bar.
“They’re an excellent Grateful Dead tribute band and usually draws a big crowd,” says White. “It should be a lot of fun. Each night when we do live music we turn the lights down around 10pm and it turns into a really fun rock ‘n’ roll vibe. It’s a great interactive environment.”
Large flat-screen TVs are scattered throughout the spacious establishment, and soon special activities will be geared around the upcoming NFL season, says White. The Mussel Bar has a state-of-the-art sound system and a mixing board that can be remotely controlled through an iPad, and its décor includes a long bar with a laminated surface embedded with mussel shells; light fixtures constructed from 24-ounce Antigoon bottles; dark, rich, recycled wood floors and wall paneling; an immense beer-bottle cooler behind the bar and floor-to-ceiling wine coolers adjacent to one of two entrances; an open kitchen, raw bar and culinary stations that allow patrons to watch as their dishes are prepared, and — perhaps most unusual — a $60,000 custom-built Bourget chopper suspended over the bar.
“[Weidmaier] said he was getting too old to ride it and [the bike’s] too fast, so he hung it from the ceiling,” says White. “It gets a lot of attention to say the least.
“[Mussel Bar’s] not like anything else in Revel,” adds White. “We’re not a nightclub — we’re a full-fledged rock ‘n’ roll bar with tavern-style food taken to the next level, great music and an amazing beer selection. It’s all about the music and the beer here.”
The Mussel Bar is open 11:30am-midnight Monday through Thursday, 10am-midnight Sunday, and 10am-3am Friday and Saturday.
Address: Revel, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
With all the complexities of opening a brand new destination resort in Atlantic City, the executives at Revel already had a lot on their plate. However, those same executives decided to put some great food on the plates of visitors, by presenting the inaugural Taste of Revel, presented by Food & Wine and created in partnership with Travel + Leisure. This three-day epicurean extravaganza from May 18-20, will feature exclusive experiences developed specifically for the 6.3-million-square-foot beachfront destination.
The catalyst behind Revel’s ambitious nightlife and entertainment options is the Las Vegas-based Angel Management Group (AMG), which brings three unique nightlife concepts to the property and southern New Jersey.
From a casual lunch-truck approach to modern Mexican to the finest in French-inspired cuisine, Revel will have the entire dining spectrum covered.
Wiedmaier’s room won’t be the only place to grab a steak at Revel. Chef Marc Forgione, one of Revel’s two TV Food Network “Iron Chefs” (Philly-based Jose Garces is the other) will be opening American Cut, which he described as his spin on a “classic steakhouse.”
Monday, April 2, was announced as the starting date of an eight-week preview to Atlantic City’s forthcoming $2.4-billion beachfront destination, Revel
Few establishments anywhere on the East Coast can match Laguna Grill & Rum Bar’s prime location, where patrons can literally step from the property’s perimeter and onto the beach in Brigantine.
Margate’s Music Revival
Clancy’s By the Bayfest
A ‘Haven’ at Golden Nugget
Life in the Laugh Lane