Iconic South Jersey Restaurant Serves Up More Than Just Pancakes
What makes a landmark a landmark? Is it the notable features or historical significance that draws you in? One South Jersey restaurant has both and serves more than just famous pancakes; they deliver an unparalleled community experience.
The Gilchrist has been a staple in the South Jersey area for decades. Their first location in the Gardner's Basin section of Atlantic City opened in 1947, and quickly became South Jersey's very own version of 'Cheers'; a place where everybody knows your name. "That old restaurant served every kind of person in Atlantic City", owner Mike Barham told the Press of Atlantic City back in 2011 of the original Gilchrist location on the 400 block of N. Maryland Ave.
A wise man told me, "Only work on the days you want to eat." - Mike Barham
In the years following, the eatery, most famous for their decadent blueberry pancakes, expanded to include both an offshore location and a Margate location, but one thing has remained the same - their name. Through location changes, expansions and more, The Gilchrist has always remained a hometown favorite.
Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with owner, Mike Barham about The Gilchrist's deep South Jersey roots.
Describe The Gilchrist customer.
MIKE BARHAM: Our customers range from locals to people on vacation, anyone looking for a delicious breakfast in a friendly atmosphere.
What is the one thing on the menu that you could eat every day?
MB: Me personally, I can eat everything, everyday, and I do! But our blueberry pancakes get the most attention and praise.
How did you find the money to open your business?
MB: I am fortunate enough to be the 4th generation [of this establishment]. Having grown up in the business and having the opportunities to open more restaurants all stems from my great grandmother.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking of launching a small business what would it be?
MB: Don't follow your passion, follow what you can do well and be successful in. Enjoy your passion with your success from your business.
Small businesses come and go all the time, what do you think it is about The Gilchrist that has allowed you to not only survive but thrive?
MB: Consistency, I believe that is the key to all facets of business and life. A wise man told me "Only work on the days you want to eat."
Atlantic City -- 804 N Rhode Island Ave | (609) 345-8278
Cologne -- 734 White Horse Pike | (609) 965-3433
Margate -- 9400 Atlantic Ave | (609) 449-8679
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