The Gregory family has been providing good food and drink for their Somers Point patrons for over half a century and five generations.
The building that houses Gregory's has been there longer, having graced the corner of Delaware Avenue and Shore Roads since 1908. Every door is of different size because the building was constructed from an old assortment of wood salvaged from seven Longport homes that were destroyed in a storm and barged over the bay. The unique shape of the roof stems from the design of the hull of a ship.
Originally a home and business known as Piercy's General Dry Goods Store, Ella Piercy and her sister, Carrie Reckstel, were the first to obtain a liquor license for the premises. Their nephew, Gerald S. Piercy, took over in 1913 and operated it as the Piercy Hotel before it became the Hotel Boulevard. In 1929 Mrs. Keemer and Mr. Davis bought and renamed it the Davis Hotel, which was popular with duck hunters, boaters and fishermen, and also served as a riding academy.
During prohibition the bar was relocated in the basement, where it remained even after the repeal of liquor laws in 1933. The Davis Hotel changed hands for the last time in February, 1946, when many shore properties were sold after the depression, the storm of '44, and World War II.
Walter "Pop" Gregory owned Walt's Cafe, at Emerald and Cumberland Streets in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, which he had operated since before prohibition. An avid fisherman, frequent visitor and seasonal resident, he purchased the Davis Hotel for his sons Walter and Elmer when they returned from the war.
Renamed the Gregory Hotel, the bar remained a rathskeller in the basement for the first season before being moved upstairs against the south wall where the jukebox is now located. In 1950 Ray Smith Sr. built the classic Philippine mahogany horseshoe bar.
In 1957 the Gregorys recruited Vince Renich from Bayshores to be a bartender and clam shucker. With a dart board, shuffleboard, pool table and seven drafts for a dollar, Gregory's became a popular neighborhood tavern frequented by local fishermen and seasonal visitors alike.
The Tight End Fishing Club met every Monday night when stripers were running all the time and fresh seafood was the staple of the daily diet. The N.J. State record striper, nicknamed Big Ben, was caught by Gregory's patron Maury Upperman on a bucktail lure. After services, the fish was stuffed and mounted on the wall over the dining room door.
In 1979 Elmer's son, Gregory, and Walter's son, Walt, took over the business and remodeled the building, but kept Gregory's reputation for fresh seafood and inexpensive drinks. They also initiated the popular "Taco Tuesday," "Adios Turistos," "Vince's Birthday," venison on the Super Bowl Sunday buffet, and many other special occasions.
More recently a new generation has taken over the kitchen. Joe and Paul Gregory, both graduates of the Culinary Academy at Atlantic Community College, have continued Gregory's longtime traditions, including "Pop's" homemade snapper soup and whole lobster dinners, and have also added their own unique touch to the menu.
On any given day you can find a member of the Gregory's clan around the premises - sons, daughters, cousins, nephews, nieces, and neighbors working in some capacity, keeping Gregory's a family affair.
And, you can count on the next generation to continue the traditions into the next century, ensuring Gregory's will always be a friendly, familiar, yet unique place for good food, inexpensive drinks and great times.
by William Kelly (Author of "300 Years at the Point" - A Somers Point History)
Somers Point, NJ 08244 609-927-6665
Open EVERY day!
Free Parking in our private lot across the street.
Gregory’s accepts cash and most major credit cards.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
7pm, Back Bar
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Soft & Hard Tacos, Fajitas, Nachos & Quesadillas
Served from 3 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
1/2 lb. Burgers $8; Pints of Bud Light $3
Thursday, April 22, 2021
7pm, Back Bar