Behind the Scenes of AC’s Tennessee Avenue Redevelopment

We took a tour of the work being done on the beach block of Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City last week, to check out progress on buildings that will house three new businesses and a non-profit. The so-called Tennessee Avenue Renaissance Project consists of a dozen properties on the Inlet side of the street.

The developers will be opening a coffee shop, a beer hall, a non-profit yoga studio and a chocolate bar in the first phase of the project this fall.

 Route 40

The beer hall ‘The Ten’, under construction.

The beer hall, named ‘The Ten’, is the largest space on the block, next to two vacant lots that will be transformed into an outdoor beer garden. A back room at the beer hall will feature pinball, pool tables and other games. Scott Cronick, director of entertainment publication for The Press of Atlantic City, is a partner in this project, alongside Charles Soreth, owner and chef of Sublime Seafood Company in Egg Harbor Township. The beer hall will include some of Sublime’s food, plus beer snacks.

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A worker planes part of the future bar where visitors will be able to enjoy wine and chocolate at ‘MaDe’.

Chocolate bar ‘MaDe’ is a partnership of Deborah Pellegrino, executive pastry chef for the three Caesars Entertainment casinos in Atlantic City, and her chef husband Mark Pellegrino. The Pellegrinos will sell both retail and wholesale chocolate that has been roasted, processed and refined on-site at the store. Visitors will be able to tour the operation and sit at a bar area and enjoy wine and chocolate.

We didn’t get to spy inside the coffee spot ‘Hayday’, which will be co-run by two of the property developers, Evan Sanchez and Zenith Shah, and it will also feature ice cream. Fun fact: Hayday is named for the inventor of the rolling chair (William Hayday). We also didn’t go inside another building on the street that is owned by the developers and will be used as housing by dancers from the Atlantic City Ballet.

A future yoga studio.

The space pictured above, meanwhile, will be filled with yogis in the not-too-distant future when the non-profit The Leadership Studio moves into the space. The studio will be funded by donations and grants and is setting out to employ Atlantic City residents who have completed training programs. It is the brainchild of Alexandra Nunzi of Grace & Glory yoga and Kathy Whitmore, a retired Atlantic City teacher.

The second floor of the yoga studio has a balcony that offers this view:

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View from the balcony above The Leadership Studio.

That space is currently up for grabs, as is this building closer to the beer hall:

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Talks are ongoing with possible tenants for this space.

The project is being led by Mark Callazzo of real estate lending company Alpha Funding (and owner of The Iron Room in Atlantic City), alongside Sanchez and Shah, who have formed a company called Authentic City Partners.

The original article can be found on Route 40.