The Ocean Drive dates back to the late 19th century. The actual construction period and official opening date seem, for the moment, lost in time. However, we do know that in 1885, the Ocean Drive was called the Ino. Gegnas Philadelphia House. The hotel was purchased by the Meloni Family and the name shortened to the Philadelphia House.

They had no liquor license at the time, but were known for their fine food and gourmet banquets for their guests at the beginning and end of the summer.

It is said that they had their chicken coops on the side of the building and that there were stables in the rear, somewhere near where the back bar is now!

Hard times during the depression resulted in a tax sale and in 1939 it was bought from the city by Mike Luongo. In 1946, it was sold to the Dogliotti Family, who ran it as a hotel and fine dining establishment. Long time Sea Isle City residents ask: "Remember the sing-a-longs at the Ocean Drive and owners Pete and Rose Dogliotti?" (Pete & Rose's daughter Angela and her husband John McGowan are now the proprietors of McGowan's Deli across the street.)

In 1971, the Ocean Drive was sold to Joe and Clara Ferroni. Ironically, Clara was a member of the Meloni Family, who had owned the hotel in the 1930's. She had always dreamed of returning to the place she loved as a child during the depression and after selling their neighborhood market and butcher shop in South Philly she and her husband were able to do just that. During the early 1970's, they stopped running the Ocean Drive as a Hotel and began to focus on the fine dining experience and the evening tavern business. (You don't have to be too old to remember the song styling's of Johnny Moore or the Top 40 music of Eastern Standard Band - ESB).

In 1984, the Ocean Drive was sold to Joe Roberts, from Bellmawr NJ. In the winter of 1987 Joe and his cousin Mike went to see a band on a snowy night at the Bent Elbo Tavern in North East Philly (it's long gone now!). There playing, to a very small but enthuastic crowd, they saw a two man band called Secret Service. The crowd was small but they saw something special there that night and Joe booked the band for the next summer. The rest as they say is history. . . Secret Service has been playing at the OD for more than 20 years now and tens of thousands of people have had some of the best times of their lives at the OD with Dom and Craig (Secret Service) on Stage. Secret Service, along with the region's best Live Bands are a regular feature at the OD.

In 2002, Joe's cousin Mike Roberts and long time manager Ralph Pasceri took over the helm and with Ralph's brother Pat they have sought to continue a long tradition of great times in Sea Isle City at the Jersey Shore. The Ocean Drive has a strong tradition of Good Friends, Great Fun, and The Best Music. Over the past century, many great friends have met in the Ocean Drive for some really good times. The list of people who have met at the OD and later married is truly amazing, and includes 2 of the current owners and at least 6 of the current bartenders!

In the front bar near the ladies room, you will find some pictures of the Ocean Drive from the past. Thanks for being part of the tradition!