Secretly, I always wished it would happen; the Irish take over Cape May. With a mayor named Mahaney and a councilman named Murray, we have a pretty strong foothold. One organization has an outreach officer named Stewart, and there’s a publication put out by a man from Paisley. Ok, he is Scottish, but we’ll overlook that. At least two hotel General Managers have strong Irish roots, with hospitality in their blood. Hospitality and Irish are almost synonymous.
Then, there is the entertainment in Cape May. Delaney’s Irish pub came on the scene recently as a resurrection of the Jackson Mountain cafe. In truth, I was never a frequent visitor when it was the Jackson Mountain, though many of my guests liked it. Since the conversion and name change, Delaney’s has drawn me in on several occasions. Delaney’s, named after the owner’s mom, and the Ugly Mug are now two places providing regular Irish entertainment.
Gabriel Donahue, Gerry Timlin and my personal favorite, John Byrne Band, are acts that have been making regular trips to Cape May from the Philadelphia region. Combine this with the writeup in Cape May magazine about the band Runa recording its latest CD in Cape May, and I think we have an Irish renaissance going on.
Last week, McDermott’s Handy brought their ‘Bound for Amerikay’ program as the Celtic entry to the Cape May Music Festival, put on by the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. They chronicled the Irish emigrant experience through music and dance, song and story.
This summer, you may not find shops staffed with Irish kids like years ago, but you might just walk down the mall in Cape May and it will sound like you’re in Dublin’s Temple Bar district.