The Elwood Hotel is one of the most well-known structures in Atlantic City, though not under its original name. It has received acclaim from both locals and tourists for the past 30 years as the Irish Pub, a popular restaurant and hangout spot located at 164 St. James Place. The six-story brick Elwood Hotel first opened in 1903. During Prohibition, it became a noted speakeasy, where alcohol flowed freely without any regard for secrecy. This open attitude led to the Elwood’s inclusion in a 1920 raid where $100,000 of illegal liquor was seized from 19 establishments throughout the city. The Elwood’s patrons were so loyal and incensed by the incident that they supposedly followed the federal agents outside and beat them up! The Elwood continued operations under its original name until 1967, when it became Feeley’s Hotel. In 1972, Cathy and Richard Burke purchased bar space in the hotel and opened the Irish Pub. The Pub and Feeley’s Hotel operated together until 1978, when the Burkes became sole owners of the property. They retained many features original to the hotel, such as the Pub’s cherry wood bar and the hotel’s key rack. The Inn at the Irish Pub, which still provides accommodations today, is the only hotel in Atlantic City to still have its original key rack. The vintage vibe of the Irish Pub is also provided by numerous old photographs lining the walls of the restaurant, including many of Joe DiMaggio, who often stayed in the building during his visits to Atlantic City.
| An undated postcard showing the Elwood Hotel exterior and interior.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H050.ElwoodHotelNoDate.
|The Irish Pub in December 2014.||
For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections: