The Empress Hotel (New Jersey)
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|The Empress Hotel|
|Location||101 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park, New Jersey, United States 07712|
|Number of rooms||101|
|Number of restaurants||1|
In 1980, the Empress was featured on the picture sleeve of Bruce Springsteen's hit single "Hungry Heart", which depicts a photo of Springsteen standing near a phone booth on the Asbury Park boardwalk, with the hotel visible in the background.
By the summer of 1976, Asbury Park was in a state of decline, albeit the Empress Hotel remained a popular establishment. During a New York Times interview, the hotel's manager boasted: "all of our 101 rooms are taken!" Unfortunately, by 1988 the hotel was struggling for business, and closed shortly after.
A strip club, Extreme Fahrenheit, opened in the building in 1993. It became notorious for drugs and prostitution, and was eventually closed because of lewd conduct.
The nightclub lured crowds of gay travelers away from Fire Island and instead to the beaches of Asbury Park. The hotel portion reopened in August 2004, and is very popular among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender travelers in New Jersey.
In 2008, a dining establishment, the Ketchup Grill opened inside. A clothing store, Esphera, catering to gay beach-goers, was added to the ground level in 2008 and is open during the summer months.
The hotel features a restaurant, gift-shop, lounge, nightclub, and outdoor pool.
- "EMPRESS HOTEL". gay-destinations.com. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- JOE SHARKEY. "The Past Is Dead in Asbury Park, but the Future Is Arriving." New York Times
- Gay Asbury Park
- Gay Asbury Park