A very reliable source is telling me that the Hoffman Manor (274 West Broadway Long Beach, NY 11561) was just sold for $20 million. The new owners (whoever they may be) plan on change, but it’s unclear whether or not that means an updated senior housing facility, condos or competition for the Allegria in the form of a hotel.
The Allegria Hotel was once King David Manor, also a senior housing facility. Developers have figured out that waterfront property is pretty rare in this neck of the woods ocean, so redevelopment of that orange and yellow building was a no-brainer. Common sense tells me that condos and hotels are worth far more than senior housing. It’s just a matter of time before the Hoffmann goes down the same path.
FYI: My source is not the same person who recently tipped me off on the alleged Jackson Hotel being sold for $10 million. Pretty interesting nonetheless, as the Long Beach skyline keeps evolving. More and more people are learning about our little city by the sea oasis, so demand for updated housing and hotel space will be needed. You can tell just by looking at the amount of surfers there are in the water this year. Has that number tripled since last summer or what? How many of these new visitors are starting to consider Long Beach their next possible home?
“The Allegria, an upscale Long Beach hotel that the city considers important to its economic well-being but one that has been mired in tax arrears for three years, has pulled out of debt — and is opening its prized rooftop to the public.
..But the hotel paid off the debts last week after reaching an agreement in bankruptcy court, and is exiting bankruptcy, hotel representatives and city officials said.
[Allen] Rosenberg [the owner] said in a statement that he is glad the hotel is back on firm footing. “We’re right here and we are here to stay,” he said.
Good for the Allegria. The last thing Long Beach needs is for this place to go the same route as Jackson by the Beach. Now please add a breakfast buffet to your repertoire and I’ll be there at least once a month.
In what appears to be a half written article with not that much info, the Long Island Business News is reporting that the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach cound finally see some light at the end of the ‘bankruptcy’ tunnel:
A bankruptcy judge has approved a plan to reorganize the finances of the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach, according to Allen Rosenberg, who opened the 143-room hotel in 2009.
Guests and staff at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach said they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary last Friday, but a female registered guest — around 30 years old — notified security around 4 a.m., saying she was raped in a hotel room.
Website Boston Deals is offering Up to 43% off beach-view rooms and massages in Long Beach, NY. The deals are:
$269 for a one-night stay in a beach-view room, plus one 60-minute massage (worth $459)
$468 for a two-night stay in a beach-view room, plus one 60-minute massage (worth $768)
Act fast because this deal ends Tuesday 5/1, 11:59PM EDT.
Let’s help the Allegria pay its back taxes (read: Allegria Owes City $300k). Spread the word! Oddly, You wouldn’t think this hotel would offer discounts during the summer season. Perhaps it’s in even bigger trouble than what we original thought?
FEMA showed up last week to survey the leftovers from Irene and a lot of you asked why were they coming now after so much time has passed, and so many repairs have already been made. That gave me the idea for this week’s installment of Friday Photography. I went around to a few spots that I know received a walloping and took a look at what was there now. This is by no means a survey of the entire City, just a quick snapshot (no pun intended). Also take a look at some photos I put together right after Hurricane Irene to remember just how intense it was.
I really appreciate all the feedback I received last week and if any of you have some good shoot ideas, let me know.
4.5 Months After Irene
On the beach between National and Edwards, an emergency lane marker stands over the remnants of the brick and cinder-block walls that failed to hold the sea back
The Lifeguard Shack: after being pushed off of its foundation, and then returned with the help of a crane, it’s in desperate need of a paint job. See how it looked hours after the storm here
Without a leg to stand on
One of the shack’s shutters swings ajar
After a much needed renovation, the new bathrooms at National Blvd were short-lived as they quickly became flooded and buried when Irene hit weeks later. Now they sit boarded up and more buried than ever.
At the beach entrance to the Allegria, the high water mark is still visible
Have you been thinking about checking out the Allegria’s restaurant, the “Atlantica” but balk at some of their prices? Well, Groupon has just the thing for you.
For $25, you get $55 worth of dinner for two.
For $49, you get a dinner experience for four or more (a $136 total value). The experience consists of the following: $100 worth of food. A bottle of house wine (a $36 value)
The deals are extremely good, especially the second one, basically a $100 dinner and a glass of wine each for $50 bucks. If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea this could be the thing for you. Remember to check out my recent review of the restaurant (highlights: It was a bit “meh”).
City Manager Theofan obliquely confirmed that the Allegria owes the City more than $300,000 in back taxes, and sewer and water fees.
The Allegria, to their credit, commented to Newsday and said, “Any issues related to the Allegria are contingent upon our current reorganization plan that is before the court [and] it [paying the city] is part of our current reorganization plan.”
What does that mean? Basically, that the City and the Allegria have already been in court for some time, confirming the City has long known that this money wasn’t coming in. The Allegria is working it out through their lawyers, their lenders’ lawyers, and the City’s lawyers, how much and when they will pay back their debts. You’ll remember that we talked about the land under the Allegria (owned by a separate corporation) filed for bankruptcy in the summer.
Again, like the supposed shortfalls caused by Irene, this falls into the category of things the City has known about for months, and it is impossible that this just “surprised” city officials, requiring last minute, emergency budget action.
Now that the election is over, we can get back to Long Beach’s second most polarizing topic, the Allegria. It being Long Island’s restaurant week, I figured it may be a good chance to see after two years in business how the Allegria’s restaurant, Atlantica fared. (Note: For the rest of the post I’ll refer to the restaurant as the Allegira)
Restaurant Week is a great way to try places you may not otherwise go to, with relaxed prices on a select menu. From my perspective, a pared down menu to order from promises the eater the very best made dishes the restaurant has to offer, though usually in smaller portions.
How’d the Allegria do? Alright. Full impressions below:
There was a decent crowd in the restaurant and we were seated without a wait. All along the staff was very nice and professional.
A small plate of olives as well as bread came to the table along with our comically over-sized menus. I mean, these things are huge and simply do not fit on the table if you want to put them down. The olives were tasty – though could be the same variety sampler from Waldbaum’s olive bar. My first surprise of the night, there was not one, but two different “restaurant week” menus, a lower tier at $24.95 and a higher tier at $34.95.
The wine menu made me chuckle a bit. You could buy wine by the glass with a large slection between $8-$12 dollars, but the cheapest bottle of wine I could find on the menu was $33 (and a few others were below $40). This is a long way of going around to say that buying 4 glass of wine was cheaper than buying the cheapest bottle on the menu.
So the order. I’m easy to please and like everything so I really wanted to just get served whatever was the freshest/best showcase on the menu. The waiter said the scrod was particularly special and great, so that was easy for me. I don’t particularly know what scrod is other than some sort of fish.
My better half went with an arugula salad with walnuts, and Gorgonzola, and for her main course a roasted chicken dish.
Wine came out quick, and the appetizers flew out. I got a classic: fried calamari. First look? Uh oh, looked like it may be over-fried and burnt, though the smell that came off of them was incredible. How’d they taste? Absolutely delicious. Perfectly crisp, tender calamari, and no greasy taste. The dipping sauces that accompanied them were a welcome addition, without being overwhelming.
The salad that came out was that – a salad. The salad itself (and my app) was a large portion for a restaurant week menu, certainly a nice surprise. It was fresh. It was green. It had a vinaigrette of some variety over it that didn’t have a particularly strong taste.
The main course came out in no particular rush that made for a nicely paced meal – not hurrying the food out, but no real “wait.”
My next surprise of the evening – french fries. My big plate of scrod came out served with mixed vegetables and french fries. I basically didn’t bother reading the menu and was almost confused why they were there. I assumed I’d get some sort of frou frou “polenta” or “potatoes a la blah blah,” not fries. Looking at the plate I realized it was more of a fancy take on fish and chips.
I didn’t complain about the fries though, because they were actually fantastic. A thin cut piece of potato (think McDonald’s size) fried to perfection and lightly salted. The scrod was good. Well cooked, moist, and light. The let down on the plate was the vegetables. I have a sneaking suspicion that the mixed vegetable medley came out of the freezer, into a microwave, and had the label “Green Giant” on it. They were watery, bland, and awful.
The roasted chicken across the table was excellent. Another large plate of food – much more than I was expecting on a prix fixe menu – well presented with roasted chicken resting on mashed potatoes and spinach. The chicken was incredible. Well seasoned, juicy, and all around tasty. The potatoes were garlicy (not a word) and good, the spinach was fresh.
Dessert was a creme brulee and a pumpkin napoleon. Both were excellent. The creme brulee was custardy (also not a word) goodness and the pumpkin napoleon was an exciting take on a classic dessert.
So I’ve used the words good, incredible, and perfect quite a few times describing individual elements of the three courses, but walked away from the meal with an overwhelming “meh.” A lot of the food was good – better than average – but nothing was just “wow, that’s the best ____ I’ve ever had” or will really stick with me for any length of time (the exception being the desserts actually).
I think they set themselves up for a disappointment with the high style, high prices, and flashy decor. The food itself though isn’t refined and haute cuisine. Take my plate for instance, the special for the night trying to wow me boiled down to fish and chips.
The food has more of an clean, direct, and stripped-down feel to it, not complex and delicate like most places that pitch themselves as a four star restaurant. And there’s nothing at all wrong with making simplified, good food, but it just doesn’t seem pitched that way. I think instead you can say “hey, we make great food without flashy gimmicks,” Instead, I feel like it comes off as bit pretentious and then doesn’t deliver on four star promises.
Bottomline: Restaurant Week at the Allegria is good. It is a great way to get in and have a big taste of what they have to offer, while delivering satisfying, though not exceptional food.
Added bonus, our waiter informed us they will be running a restaurant week style prix fixe menu all winter.