First, let me tell you a little bit about this fantastic structure that was built in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1897 on Tennessee and Pacific Avenues.

It was a majestic and beautiful building. The attention to detail on the ornate finishes were extraordinary. It looked like it was fortified structure that and could withstand  cannonball fire of centuries ago.

it was originally known as The Olivet Presbyterian Church.

Who would have thought that more than 80 years later it would he converted into a disco club, restaurant and bar.

Some were very offended by this conversion and felt that it was comparable to desecration of a religious church.

Some were not bothered by it all and thought that the character and design of this structure made for such a unique disco club, restaurant and bar experience.

Many already know that I’m referring to “Little John’s.”

I vividly remember many family members and friends who enjoyed this unique … sort of Sherwood Forest - Nottingham feel of Little John’s.

I recall it opening in (or right around) the year 1978. I turned 18 years old in 1978 … a time when only for a very brief moment in New Jersey state history that the legal drinking age was lowered to 18-year-olds.

In my view, it was a mistake to lower the drinking age and it was promptly returned to 21 years old … but, all of the 18-year-olds were “grandfathered” and were permitted to legally consume alcohol.

Full disclosure, I did not consume alcohol and I believe that I eventually had my first adult beverage at the age of 21 in the Opera House of The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, where I worked for nearly a decade.

If you remember, in those days … there was a requirement in place when you went to a casino show that you had to purchase or have comped two adult beverages.

My “go to” drink on rare occasions … was Kahlúa and cream. I had mine light on the Kahlúa and heavy on the cream and it tasted like chocolate milk.

I haven’t had one or any alcohol in more than 40 years.

I never went to Little John’s … but, I know many contemporaries of mine who did and they absolutely loved it.

Here’s an exterior photograph of what Little John’s looked like … courtesy of Bert Estlow.

Bert Estlow photo.
Bert Estlow photo.

Here is a Little John’s menu from what Bert Estlow believes is the early 1980’s, based on the prices.

Bert Estlow photo.
Bert Estlow photo.

I love writing these look back articles. We have so much tradition and history here in the Atlantic City area.

I hope that you enjoyed this walk down memory lane.

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