• November 12, 2019

Strathmere’s Deauville Inn has been sold - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Strathmere’s Deauville Inn has been sold

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Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 10:41 am

STRATHMERE — The Deauville Inn, a Strathmere landmark for generations, has been sold. 

New owner Dr. Tim Fox introduced himself to area business owners at the September meeting of the Upper Township Business Association, held at the restaurant. 

Few details of the sale could be confirmed. Neither Fox nor current owner John Carpenter responded to requests for an interview, and a team at the restaurant Tuesday morning said they could make no comment but that a press statement would be released. They could not say how soon that would happen and declined to be identified. 

Members of the UTBA were told the new owner plans to invest in renovations. 

“I think they’re making a few changes but are keeping it as a restaurant,” UTBA member Blanche Adams said. 

Other people who have been briefed on the plans, but could not comment on the record, also said the building will continue to operate as a restaurant. 

Mayor Richard Palombo said it is his understanding plans are to continue operations as a restaurant. He said the township is in the process of preparing to transfer the liquor license to the new owners, and that his understanding is that there will be considerable investment in the property. 

“I have every reason to believe there’s going to be a substantial upgrade there,” he said. 

No purchase price has been announced. According to available public records, the waterfront restaurant is assessed at $1.9 million. 

Fox owns a summer home in Strathmere, according to Adams and public records. He is a practicing physical therapist and founder and chief executive officer of Fox Rehabilitation, which has locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia. 

The bayfront building was built around 1881, according to a history posted at strathmere.net, by an Irish immigrant named James P. Carothers. It opened as the Whelen Hotel, and remained in the Carothers family for decades. 

The Deauville Inn website states the former hotel once served as a speakeasy during Prohibition and housed a gambling casino. The posted history says President Theodore Roosevelt once stayed at the property. 

When Walt and Gloria Carpenter bought the Deauville in 1980, the building needed extensive repairs, family members said when interviewed for a news story in 2017. They were advised to demolish and start over, but instead undertook the renovations. 

“Today the Deauville stands as a testimonial to the family’s and their many friends’ commitment, effort and many hours of physical labor,” reads a statement on the restaurant website. 

The business operated for years in a partnership formed with their children, John Carpenter and Lynda Brown. The family spoke about the history of the business after the death of Lynda Brown in October 2017. She was 70. 

At the time, family members remembered her as a very private person who worked lengthy hours at the restaurant and devoted herself to her family and community. 

She helped expand the business, making the most of its waterside setting and sunset views. During her tenure, the business also created a beachside bar in the shadow of the Corson’s Inlet Bridge, where tourists and locals enjoyed live music with their feet in the sand and a view of the water. 

The future of the site, along with the announced closing of another longstanding Strathmere eatery, Mildred’s, was raised as the Upper Township Planning Board discussed potential new zoning restrictions for the seaside section of the township. 

The owners of Mildred’s said the restaurant closed for good in September. Many in the area expect that building and parking area to be redeveloped as residential property.

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