• TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced Nov. 20 that Ventnor City would receive a $501,000 grant to restore historic City Hall. The building was one of four in Atlantic County selected for Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties to fund the preservation, stabilization, rehabilitation and repair of New Jersey historic structures that were damaged by the storm.

    Other Atlantic County structures awarded grants include Fire Station 3 in Atlantic City, which received $338,289, Fire Station 2 in Atlantic City $205,649 and Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point $102,400.

  • MARGATE – Local firefighters and EMS workers who routinely arrive at drug overdose calls are now carrying the life-saving antidote, naloxone.

    Chief Anthony Tabasso made the announcement at the Nov. 6 Board of Commissioners work session meeting.

  • MARGATE – City Clerk and Tax Collector Tom Hiltner will resign from both positions Jan. 1 and receive $260,000 payable in installments over the next two years as part of a settlement reached in his whistleblower lawsuit against the city.

    Under the agreement, the city will also give Hiltner $12,000 a year for the next eight years for health insurance, and pay $50,000 in attorney fees to Jacobs & Barbone, his attorneys.

  • MARGATE – Despite differences of opinion regarding the dunes issue, the Board of Commissioners Nov. 6 agreed to uphold the wishes of the voters and proceed with an effort to stop the state and Army Corps of Engineers from building sand dunes on the beach.

    Congratulating the advocacy group Margate Citizens Questioning the Beach Project, which lobbied to fight the dunes project, Commissioner Brenda Taube said she would join Commissioner Maury Blumberg and Mayor Michael Becker in support of voters who passed a nonbinding referendum Nov. 4 that asked if they wanted the city to spend up to $200,000 in legal fees to try to stop the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps from proceeding with the project. The unofficial vote count was 1,140 yes, 1,091 no. Provisional ballots are still being counted. Certification by the Atlantic County Clerk is expected Monday afternoon.

  • VENTNOR – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has awarded $230,000 in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance grants to help the city become more resilient to storms.

    Mayor Michael Bagnell said the grants will help the city plan for the future after several years of struggling with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, which flooded the city in October 2012.

Ventnor Coffee is created by, and for locals

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Ventnor coffee owners and family members Laura Pagano, her mother Christine Pagano, and her husband Michael Einwechter of Margate. Ventnor coffee owners and family members Laura Pagano, her mother Christine Pagano, and her husband Michael Einwechter of Margate.

VENTNOR – There’s a buzz on Dorset Avenue created by the smell of brewed coffee and the sound live music.

Ventnor Coffee owners Michael Einwechter and Christine Pagano said creating a place where people gather over good coffee and culture was a dream that became a reality.

“We have always dreamed of owning a coffee shop and having it in a garage-style location. Christine has always wanted to own a coffee joint of her own. She wanted a place where everyone come hang out and have some coffee, a place to relax and read a book or listen to live music,” Michael Einwechter said. “I've always wanted a coffee shop that would bring culture to our small town. A little shop that offered a one-on-one spot where musicians could explain their songs in a forum style.”

As the third-generation owner and operator of Schallus and Sons Construction, the Margate resident who grew up in Ventnor put his skills to use converting the former auto glass repair shop into a coffee house that looks like a living room inside and incorporates an outdoor patio.

He still works as a contractor when he is not brewing coffee or serving as president of the Ventnor Tourism Association. His wife Christine worked as a secretary for Prudential Fox and Roach before opening the coffee shop and enjoys spending time with their grandchildren. The couple held a grand opening celebration at Ventnor Coffee Sunday, Aug. 4.

“Ventnor Coffee is catered to our locals; a place where everyone can just come and chill. Our coffee is inexpensive and very good,” Einwechter said.

A small coffee is $1.50, $1.75 for medium and $2 for large.

Ventnor Coffee offers a variety coffee supplied by Bucks County Coffee including an organic light roast breakfast blend, a Colombian medium roast, a Costa Rican dark roast and Colombian decaf. There is also iced coffee brewed fresh every morning and iced tea, espresso, Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes and other coffee drinks.

Einwechter said Bucks County Coffee roasts the beans fresh for Ventnor Coffee and the owners inspect each delivery for packaged dates. He said the coffee is roasted, packed and sent to the store within a week.

“We have two specialty coffees that have been a huge hit: our Ventnor-chino, which is a mocha with coffee ice cream from Custard’s. We also do a banana bomber which is a blended espresso frappe with a whole banana,” Einwechter said.

In addition to coffee, there is plenty of pastries including cupcakes, danish, muffins, brownies, cookies and biscotti.

“Every day, we try to have something different,” Einwechter said. “We don't sell cooked items, but right next door is Annette's. You can come get coffee from us and go to Annette's for some breakfast, and in the afternoon you can go right across the street and get some fantastic pizza at Viggo's. If you want coffee and the kids want ice cream, you can get that at Custard’s directly across the street,” Einwechter said.

Pagano said her favorite item on the menu is the red velvet cupcakes, and Einwechter likes the Ventnor-chino.

In addition to java, Ventnor Coffee has a large lending library where the owners allow customers to exchange books and high speed Wi-Fi.

“We've been told the we’re the fastest of all coffee houses around,” Einwechter said.

Ventnor Coffee also has a local rewards card that is punched for each drink purchased and the 11th order is free.

The walls of the shop are adorned with local art, which is all for sale and rotates five to six different featured artists each month, Einwechter said.

“We also have some of our own personal sculptures including an 8-foot Fender guitar, custom furniture built from pallets, and a unique sculptured Ventnor coffee sign cut and finished from some old wood,” Einwechter said. “We are also waiting on a 6-foot statue from an artist that will be placed outside of the coffee shop.”

Local musicians are frequently a part of the atmosphere at Ventnor Coffee. Solo artists, jazz and rock bands have all performed there and it was host to a Coffee and Canvas art and music show Sunday, Sept. 1.

Local jazz band YGB plays 7:30 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesday is open mic night.

Einwechter actively updates the Ventnor Coffee Facebook page and the shop can be reached at (609) 992-3046 and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . See ventnorcoffee.com.

Ventnor Coffee is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

Owner Michael Einwechter of Margate steams milk for a latte. Owner Michael Einwechter of Margate steams milk for a latte.   An 8-foot-tall custom-built Fender Stratocaster sculpture adorns a wall at Ventnor Coffee. An 8-foot-tall custom-built Fender Stratocaster sculpture adorns a wall at Ventnor Coffee.


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