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The Chatterbox returns with a new owner

The Chatterbox returns with a new owner


You’re driving over the 9th street bridge. A few things catch your eye.

Two Ferris Wheels. A water tower. And the bright pink building right in front of you as you descend the bridge.  

The Chatterbox was built in the late 1930s, designed by Vivian Smith who also designed City Hall, The Flanders Hotel, and the Music Pier. The restaurant has been under numerous owners throughout the years. Recently, it got a new caretaker and owner- William Bonforte. He’s also a partner in Green Eggs Café, Philly.

“We just acquired the building a matter of days ago. This weekend is going to be challenging at best. It’s going to be more like friends and family just to see what the building’s capable of. We have everything serviced but we never ran the equipment under normal circumstances,” said William. While the Chatterbox has been in a soft opening phase, their official grand opening was on Friday, June 10. One of the first things he’s done is to bring back a menu item from classic Chatterbox- ice cream. 

Everything tastes better at the beach, including ice cream. The Chatterbox is serving up scoops and cones of artisan ice cream from The WooHoo, the company who carries the tagline “The Jersey Shore’s Favorite Ice Cream & Family Grub”. 

“We’re going to feature [WooHoo’s] artisan flavors with scoops and cones and stuff along with probably an amplified milkshake menu. Real artisan flavors for adults but more fun craftwork in the milkshakes for the kids,” said William. 

The WooHoo, based out of Long Beach Island, prides themself in using local ingredients whenever possible— Jersey blueberries from Hammonton, fresh mint grown locally. The Chatterbox is taking their ice cream and pairing it with more Jersey Shore favorites. 

“For June, we are probably going to run more of a beach grill menu. Hamburgers, cheesesteaks, fresh salads— a simple straightforward menu that can be boxed up and taken to the beach, taken home, eaten here, or on the outdoor patio,” William said. They’re also looking to expand their hours as they become more staffed and also offer breakfast. 

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William gets to live upstairs from the Chatterbox. It’s fitting; he gets to be the caretaker of an Ocean City institution. What’s also fitting is that he gets to return to his roots. 

“It’s a return to the beach for me,” said William. “I was born a block and a half from the beach in Long Branch [and I] lived three blocks from the beach.”

Featured image courtesy of the Chatterbox

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