Historic Wildwood Bar Is Changing Hands

Kelly’s Cafe, a beloved family-owned and operated restaurant in Wildwood, NJ, may soon be changing hands.

A public notice was recently published stating that an application has been submitted for a person-to-person transfer of the Plenary Retail Consumption License, No. 0514-33-034-005, for the premises located at 4400-4420 Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood, currently held by KEL NAM, Inc. This address is the location of Kelly’s Cafe.

Historic Wildwood Bar Is Changing Hands

Historic Wildwood Bar Is Changing Hands

When a liquor license is changing hands this means that the business is selling. This was later confirmed by those involved in the sale.

For over 84 years, Kelly’s Cafe has been a staple in Wildwood’s nightlife scene, offering delicious food and friendly service. The cafe is situated in the heart of the Wildwoods, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. However, it seems that the future of Kelly’s Cafe is uncertain, as the property will be sold in early March.

This news comes as no surprise, as the Kelly’s Cafe Facebook page had already hinted at the possibility of a sale back in August of 2021 when people confused it with the Shamrock sale.

Their 2021 post went on to say;

“For everyone that keeps calling and asking, “ we heard Kelly’s was sold and they are making it a parking lot. “ It’s not true. That is the Shamrock. Kelly’s is still open and owned by the same people for 32 years. It is for sale currently but no contract has been signed as of today. We are still running it successfully today. Thank you for making Kelly’s part of your memories.”

While there isn’t much information on what will happen to Kelly’s Cafe there is a possible hint in the public notice.

The notice goes on to mention the transfer of 4400 ATLANTIC AVENUE, INC. to a New Jersey corporation to trade as ‘Copper Dog.’

Could it be that Kelly’s will become the Copper Dog? Only time will tell.

This sale follows the trend of historic Wildwood establishments such as the Shamrock Beef & Ale and 2nd street Annie’s selling and closing their doors.

As Wildwood’s nightlife continues to evolve, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Kelly’s Cafe. Regardless of the outcome, the restaurant has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the Wildwood community and will be remembered fondly by all who have visited.

Kelly’s Cafe was one of the oldest establishments that still operated on the island with the same name. There are photos going far back as the early 1940s showing Kelly’s Cafe sitting on the corner of Atlantic and Montgomery Avenues.

Prior to it becoming Kelly’s Cafe this location was Walker’s Ice Cream Cones

The Wildwood Video Archive will be sure to ask the new owners to allow us to film one final tour before they do any work inside. This way Kelly’s Cafe will be preserved on tape.

Thank you to Victor and Patrice for all the amazing memories you have helped form over the past 34 years. Good luck in retirement and good luck to the new owners!

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