A staple of the Seaside Heights nightlife scene is up for sale, according to real estate data, in a move that could lead to a new theme for a restaurant, bar and nightclub that has attracted wide popularity amidst a nightlife market that has severely contracted in recent years.
Hemingway’s Cafe, owned by local businessman Vincent Craparotta, Jr., has been listed for sale for about two months, records show. The property, located at 612-18 Boulevard at the corner of Blaine Avenue, is being brokered for sale by Salmon Real Estate, a Staten Island, N.Y. based firm.
The property is listed for sale at a price of $4.9 million.
Hemingway’s opened as the jewel of the Boulevard during a period when the borough was hoping to create a uniform “New Orleans-style” theme in the business district dating back about 20 years ago. It featured a full restaurant, sushi bar, plus multiple stand-alone bars, high-end sound and lighting equipment and a DJ booth. The building offers 14,729 square feet of space and generated $39,843 in property tax revenue last year. It consists of two parcels of land – one 40-by-100 feet and another 120-by-95 feet.
Nightlife in Seaside Heights has contracted since officials began a campaign to shed the borough’s hard-partying image as portrayed in MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and orient its zoning and redevelopment plans toward higher-end, mixed-use properties that would feature retail and fine dining establishments. Three other major nightclubs – Karma, Bamboo and Merge – have all closed in recent years, as well as Jax Garage, which recently announced it would reopen under new ownership as a sports bar and restaurant. Craparotta and business partner-turned-rival John Saddy once expected to open an entertainment mega-complex a block away from Hemingway’s, only for construction to stall around the time of the 2008 financial crisis, leading the property to become an eyesore marked by a rusting steel superstructure. That steel, after a decade, was demolished and a plan to build a 10-story mixed-use complex is now pending.
According to a marketing deck published by Salmon, the real estate brokerage, Hemingway’s is described as “an iconic establishment that has been captivating visitors since its inception, making it a must-visit venue for locals and tourists alike.”
It includes four separate bars, a stage, a DJ booth, expansive dance floor and upgraded sound, lighting, and video systems. There is also an outdoor section, which could make the property more valuable for a restaurateur looking to harness the popularity of the “al fresco” dining trend that has been embraced by Seaside Heights.
“Whether you’re looking for an incredible dining experience, an exhilarating night of dancing, or a memorable venue for your next event, this is the place to be,” the marketing deck said.
According to public records, Hemingway’s was briefly offered for sale in 2022 before being taken off the market. After Labor Day weekend in 2023, the listing returned.