Friday, November 12, 2010

Sugar House Casino Sneak Preview!

After years of planning, neighborhood protesting and 11 months of building, Sugar House Casino will be open for business on September 23 at 1pm. Philly2night got a sneak preview of Sugar House and all the games, food and atmosphere that Philadelphia’s first casino has to offer. Here’s the rundown.

The Rules - Once Sugar House is open to the public on Thursday it will remain open 24/7. But thanks to the Pennsylvania liquor laws, drinks will only be served until 2am, like the majority of other bars in the area. Casino bars will open at 7am on the weekends and between 10 and 11 on the weekdays, so at least day drinking and a martini lunch are still definite possibilities.

Smoking will be permitted on 25% of the gaming floor, to start, with the possibility to open up to 50% down the road. Parking will be free and valet is available. Like in Atlantic City, guests will be treated to complimentary cocktails while at the machines and tables.

The Games - The 45,000 square foot gaming floor is home to four pits, 1,600 slot machines and over 40 table games including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Thee-card Poker and Four-card Poker.

The High Rollers - The high limit room has slots ranging from $.01 - $100.00 as well as eight table games with minimum bets starting at $50 and maxing out at $10,000. High limit players are also given access to the high limit lounge with all the refreshments and house baked cookies they can stomach.

The History - The interior of the casino was designed to pay homage to the Jack Frost Sugar Refinery that used to stand on the very same plot of land, which had been vacant for years before site preparations began in 2009.

The Bars - As for the bar scene, Sugar House will offer beverage service, as well as two bars. Lucky Red the smaller of the two, features a 20-25 seat bar with digital poker machines built into the bar. Think B Bar in Borgata. Lucky Red’s bar surrounds a 160 inch HD LCD TV made up of 12 different screens and is crowned with a running ticker with all of the sports scores you could want. The 12 screens can each be set to a different game, or coordinated to be one giant TV screen playing one game on the entire screen.

The next stop on the Sugar House bar crawl is The Refinery. The space is Sugar House’s ”high end” restaurant with familiar food like burgers, hot dogs and floats. The circular bar is also outfitted with digital poker machines. The view of the Ben Franklin Bridge is phenomenal – and when the whether is nice, the windows fold in, creating open-air seating for the bar and patio area with live music four nights a week. Add in the cafeteria-style tables and The Refinery seats around 365 guests.

But if all you're looking for is a quick caffeine fix to hold you over until the bar reopens in the morning, Jacks is a 24 hour grab-n-go sandwich and salads spot that's right up your alley.

The Food - The menu was developed internally, so no big name behind the food or beverage services but the Fishtown Stacker, a hand breaded cod sammie, served to us on Le Bus bread was quite tasty - as were the shoestring fries and the mini burgers.

Wells Meat Company is supplying meat for the tasty tidbits. Bread will be baked and delivered by LeBus and Amoroso and all cold cuts will be Dietz & Watson, so local is the word of this menu. Sugar House anticipates ordering, preparing and serving around 8,000 lbs. of rib eye for its cheesesteaks, 1,500 lbs. of fresh hamburger meat, 3,000 burger buns and 2,000 hoagie rolls each day.

The View - As for the waterfront, Sugar House has created a $4.5 million dollar landscaped and hardscaped community green space and scenic pathway for running, biking or just checking out the view of Camden.

The Job - There are over 900 employees currently working in the new facility. Once the initial opening is complete, talks of “Phase I,” the fist expansion of Sugar House will be in store. As well as the opportunity for more Philly jobs. The casino plans to continuously hire – so if you’re in the market, there are still and will be positions available.

The Security – Sugar House is fully equipped with over 500 cameras, both inside and outside the premises- 508 to be exact. And at any one time there could be up to 50 “Eyes In The Sky” zeroed in on you. So watch yo self, cause there’s guaranteed to be somebody watching you.

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