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February 09, 2024

Philly restaurateur Michael Schulson to open two eateries in Atlantic City's Ocean Casino Resort

Pearl & Mary oyster bar and Samuel's deli are expected to welcome customers ahead of the summer season

Food & Drink Restaurants
schulson pearl & mary ocean atlantic city Provided Image/Ocean Casino Resort

Later this year, Atlantic City's Ocean Casino Resort will welcome Pearl & Mary and Samuel's, two eateries by Philly restaurateur Michael Schulson. Above, a rendering of Pearl & Mary.

Michael Schulson, known for Philly staples like Double Knot and Harp & Crown, opened his first restaurant in Atlantic City back in 2008. Fifteen years later, the restaurateur will open two new eateries down the shore.

Schulson's restaurant group, the Schulson Collective, is bringing Pearl & Mary oyster bar and Samuel's diner to Ocean Casino Resort. The restaurants are "expected to open before Summer 2024," the resort announced Wednesday. 

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Pearl & Mary will offer a raw bar, mixed crudos and cocktails. This will be the second location for Schulson's oyster bar. The first opened in 2022 in Philadelphia's Midtown Village, at 114 S. 13th Street.

At Samuel's, patrons can peruse an American-Jewish inspired menu with freshly baked breads and pastries, along with salads and sandwiches. The concept for Samuel's came from Schulson's grandparents, who opened a kosher butcher shop in the Bronx. The celebrity chef formerly operated a Samuel's deli at 1523 Sansom St. in Center City — above his Italian restaurant Giuseppe & Sons — but he closed it last summer and transformed the space into the French eatery Bar Lesieur.

michael schulson samuel's ocean atlantic cityProvided Image/Ocean Casino Resort

Above, a rendering of Samuel's Jewish-American deli, which will open on the lobby level of Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City later this year.

“Having opened my first restaurant in Atlantic City more than 15 years ago, it’s apropos to be returning to the shore to work with Ocean, starting with these two incredible projects,” Schulson said in a release. “I look forward to opening additional concepts with (Ocean) in the future.”

At Ocean, the two concepts will be located next to each other on the lobby level across from The Park, an outdoor space overlooking the ocean. The pair will take over the spaces formerly occupied by the already-closed Sky Café and Harper's brunch spot, which is relocating to the casino level. The two new eateries will join a roster of restaurants that includes Jose Garces' Amada and Distrito.

Schulson's first restaurant in A.C., the "modern Japanese pub" Izakaya in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, closed last month. At the time, the Borgata said the closure aligned with the "evolving goals" of the casino and Schulson.

In Philly, the Schulson Collective also runs Sampan, Independence Beer Garden, Graffiti Bar, Via Locusta and Prunella.

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