UPPER TOWNSHIP — With Olympic curling on TV, classic rock on the loudspeakers and a good crowd of regulars late Monday afternoon, Yesterday’s on Roosevelt Boulevard got ready for a change of command.
After 46 years in business, the McIntyre family has agreed to sell to the owners of the Auberge de Deauville in Strathmere. The deal is expected to be finalized on Tuesday.
According to the current owners and the buyer, the bar and restaurant will be open on Tuesday, as always.
Several locals on social media believe it will become a Mexican restaurant. That’s not the case, according to Adam Modder, The Deauville Inn’s vice president of operations.
“There seems to be confusion in the public about Yesterday’s future,” Modder said Monday. He said it would continue to operate like Yesterday’s, with the same team of front and back-of-house employees.
“We’re not going to shut the place down,” Modder said. “The intention is for it to remain as it was yesterday, with some minor renovations around the area.”
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Immediate work is planned for the kitchen, he said.
“We want to retain a lot of the character and history of the place,” Modder said.
The idea that a Mexican restaurant was on the way didn’t come out of nowhere. On the agenda for Monday’s Upper Township committee meeting was a liquor license change from Yesterday’s to Inky’s Cantina and Taqueria.
It was an earlier plan, Modder said.
Modder did not disclose the purchase price. Contacted on Monday, Sandy Ummarino, one of the McIntyre siblings, said any questions regarding the sale should be answered by his brother, Jeff McIntyre. But on Monday he said he had too many details to iron out with the ongoing sale and declined to speak to a reporter.
Modder said the Deauville executive chef will work with Yesterday’s kitchen staff after the purchase closes.
“Customers can expect a new menu before summer,” he said.
Dr Tim Fox, Strathmere resident and founder of Fox Rehabilitation, bought The Deauville Inn in 2019, along with his partner, Dr Robyn Kjar. They undertook an extensive renovation of the historic building, which dates back to 1881 and served as a hotel and speakeasy.
Work at Yesterday’s won’t be as extensive, Modder said, but he said the building needs attention. It’s been just over 20 years since the restaurant underwent a major renovation.
The restaurant, bar and attached liquor store have been a local mainstay for decades. In the Marmora section of Upper Township, it is near the bridge that connects 52nd Street to Ocean City. Part of its marketing was that those heading to the beach from the Garden State Parkway can enter and exit the parking lot by turning right, a big plus on crowded summer weekends.
“I don’t remember him ever being there,” Upper Township Mayor Curtis Corson said Monday. The McIntyre family has run the business since 1976. In 1998 the restaurant underwent a complete renovation.
As outdoor dining expanded due to COVID-19, the restaurant added additional seating under a large gazebo in a section of the parking lot.
In a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page, the family thanked their customers.
“The friendships that have developed over the years will always be treasured,” it read. “We will miss the family of yesterday but look forward to the next chapter of our lives.”
The post attracted hundreds of comments, mostly variations of congratulations and best wishes.
On Saturday, the McIntyres said goodbye at an all-day party, complete with live music and a menu with 1976 prizes.
It was as crowded as Kevin Poltorak has ever seen the bar and restaurant. Growing up in Ocean City, his family has been going to Yesterday’s since he was about 5, he said, and since he turned 21, it’s the place he stops after. work. He described it as the bar from the classic TV show “Cheers.”
“I know everyone. I know the staff. I know the owners. I know the bartender. They are all nice people,” he said.
When he stopped by after work on Saturday night, he said, the bar was so packed you couldn’t get near it. Instead, he bought a six-pack on the side and shared it with whoever was nearby.
Monday afternoon around 3pm the bar was a little less than half full, with a few people at the dining tables for a late lunch or early dinner. McIntyre, Modder and staff members sat at one of the tables, which was covered in paperwork and a calculator as they quietly discussed the case.
At the end of the bar were Joe and Kelly Wilden, who live nearby and wanted to toast the end of the McIntyre era. Kelly Wilden grew up in the area and celebrated her 21st birthday at Yesterday’s.
“It was always a good place to go,” Joe Wilden said.
The Olympics continued on the flat screens around the room, replaced by conversations at the bar.
Donald Westergom, who grows sunflowers every summer on a nearby farm, stopped by with Kitty Lippi.
“It’s Valentine’s Day. You have to celebrate it,” Westergom said.
Bret Camp sat down with a beer, after stopping in on the way home from work. He wasn’t there for the change of ownership or Valentine’s Day. He just wanted a beer at his favorite place. He doesn’t stop in every day, but he describes himself as a regular.
He too said he liked the atmosphere and the friendly people.
“I wish it stayed the same,” he said. “I hope they don’t change it too much.”
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