Chelsea sign lighting

The 331-room Chelsea Hotel will give Tropicana Atlantic City a room capacity of 2,730. The Chelsea Hotel is the first non gaming hotel in Atlantic City to kicks off the summer opening with lighting of its neon sign Tuesday, July 1, 2008 ( Photo By Edward Lea / The Press of Atlantic City)

EDWARD LEA / STAFF PHOTO

The first major upgrade in the Tropicana Atlantic City’s transformation of The Chelsea will involve a local institution.

Gilchrist Restaurant, which has three other locations including its flagship in Historic Gardner’s Basin, will partner with the Tropicana to open in the former Teplitzky’s spot by the end of the year.

“Gilchrist is a longstanding Atlantic City staple that will be a welcome addition to our restaurant offerings,” says Tropicana Entertainment Inc. President and CEO Tony Rodio. “Opening Gilchrist in The Chelsea Tower is a great opportunity for Tropicana to expand our partnership with local entrepreneurs. We are proud to have shops, restaurants and attractions throughout our property that are operated by local business owners.”

Gilchrist, known for its blueberry pancakes and simple comfort food, has served hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pancakes over the water in Atlantic City since 1947, and has expanded to other locations including Margate and Absecon.

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Gilchrist

Gilchrist

“We are thrilled to be able to open our first casino venture in Tropicana Atlantic City,” says Gilchrist Owner Mike Barham. “We couldn’t be happier to be able to offer our signature menu — and blueberry pancakes — to Tropicana guests and the Boardwalk crowds.”

More details will be released later, including whether Gilchrist will offer alcohol like Teplitzky’s did, but construction will begin immediately to make renovations to the former retro diner once operated by Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr. But it’s expected to undergo some cosmetic changes that will be made to make the space feel more like a Gilchrist eatery.

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Teplitzky's

Gilchrist will occupy the space formerly used by Teplitzky's.

Tropicana Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tropicana Atlantic City Corp., acquired the mortgage for the closed Chelsea Hotel for an undisclosed sum in May.

The 330-room complex reopened July 29, with the new name: The Chelsea Tower. The majority of its rooms are now open, and future plans include connecting the Tropicana to the tower via a skybridge, room renovations, an expansion and improvement of its existing spa, and an overhaul of the entire Fifth Floor, which includes a gorgeous pool area, restaurant and common areas.

The 20-story oceanfront tower, located at 111 S. Chelsea Ave., boosted the Tropicana’s room count to 2,730.

“We are excited to introduce the Gilchrist to our Tropicana Atlantic City guests and bring this dining option to the community,” says Tropicana General Manager Steve Callender.