Wahlberg’s visit was one of two Ocean events Friday tied to the property’s first anniversary.
With a heaping helping of Hollywood star power from A-list actor Mark Wahlberg, Ocean Casino Resort got the party started on its first birthday celebration by officially opening two new food-and-drink attractions Friday evening.
Wahlberg, whose credits include Boogie Nights, The Departed, 12 Monkeys and Invincible,” was at the back-from-the-dead gaming hall to officially open a wahlburgers outlet with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. The national-burger-and-fries chain is owned by the actor and two of his brothers, actor Donnie (“Blue Bloods”) and Paul, who is the chain’s executive chef.
Wahlberg’s arrival was preceded by those of hundreds of fans who filled the casino-level space outside the eatery as a DJ played beat-heavy pop tracks and rewarded with swag bags those who correctly answered wahlburgers trivia questions.
Wahlberg arrived, a fashionable 30 minutes late, to the revved-up screams of what appeared to be a predominantly female crowd. He made his way through the throng, stopping for brief chats and photos with fans.
Just before he wielded an oversize pair of scissors to formally launch his latest business venture, Wahlberg told Bettors Insider that for him, Atlantic City is more than just another territory for his business.
“I’ve loved the history here since I produced Boardwalk Empire for HBO long ago,” he said. “One of the more interesting things I appreciate when I come here is the history. I find it fascinating.”
Shortly after Wahlberg’s appearance ended, invited revelers assembled in the Nineteen 27 Lounge & Speakeasy, a bar/late-night dance club located in the casino-side space that formerly housed the Royal Jelly burlesque club, for the night’s second grand-opening event.
Among the features of the saloon inspired by the Boardwalk Empire era are live bands (playing contemporary tunes, not ragtime) and a roster of variety-style performers who, explains producer Allen Valentine, don’t mount a formal production as much as provide background entertainment to enhance the room’s atmosphere.
Friday’s festivities launched nine days’ worth of promotions, drawings and special events for the casino-hotel once known as Revel that will climax on June 27, when Ocean and Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City co-sponsor a fireworks display to mark the June 28 first anniversary of both mega-resorts.