Five Mile Beat > July 4 breakfast was a trip back in time

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Michael and Jeanne John along with Mayor Ernie Troiano with a portrait of Tomi John in the background.
Michael and Jeanne John along with Mayor Ernie Troiano with a portrait of Tomi John in the background.

 Tomi John came from Greece in 1940 on the 4th of July. He started Surfside Restaurant in Wildwood Crest on July 4, 1963 and he died on July 4, 1994.

On July 4 this year, the current Surfside West owners Michael and Jeanne John gave the community a taste of what was served when the restaurant opened, as well as the prices, as a thank you to customers throughout the years at to celebrate 50 summers for the Surfside.

The original Surfside was on the northeast corner of Lavender Road and Ocean Avenue in Wildwood Crest. The building was dismantled and put together in Wildwood as the home of the Doo Wop Preservation League museum on Ocean Avenue next to the Vietnam Memorial Wall and in front of Fox Park.

Surfside West is at Cresse and New Jersey avenues in Wildwood, keeping the name, with the John family running the restaurant.

On July 4, 478 people came for breakfast at the diner, where one egg was 40 cents, a Danish pastry was 30 cents, and hot cakes were 75 cents for a stack of three. Coffee and tea were a dime, milk and Sanka 15 cents and hot chocolate was 20 cents. The most expensive item on the menu was a family-of-four special for $2.75.

Michael, Jeanne and staff were run ragged with the specials and they said that the profit was barely there but it was a great day. The Cardaci clan was in tow including Gregory with his children Alana, Ava, Anna and Greg who were also there with grandmother Sally Cardaci.

Sally was the former deputy borough clerk for Wildwood Crest and everyone there was thrilled to see her. She spends eight months in Naples and the summer in the Crest. Diane and Dan Nickerson on Lake Road were there and Mayor Ernie Troiano was on hand to give a proclamation to the Johns for 50 years of serving the community. The picture was taken in front of a portrait of Tomi John, the founder and main operator of the original Surfside Restaurant in Wildwood Crest.

Nancy and John Riccardo of West Chester Pa., and also Wildwood Crest were at breakfast with their entire family consisting 28 total. Debbie Amundsen and Yvonne Morey came for breakfast, but were going to order off the 2012 menu. Donna, Kim, Ernie III, Ernie IV, and Dominick Troiano were also there and so were Linda Davenport, Jeanette Lamb, Janet DiAntonio and Mary Rossi.

The second function I attended was the annual installation dinner of the Greater Wildwood Lions Club held at Neil’s Restaurant, where Gary Sloan of North Wildwood was sworn in to be the new “King Lion” by outgoing president Wayne Vogel. Sloan has been a chief of the North Wildwood police department, captain of his own fishing boat and now a “King.”

Bill Smythe was awarded the Melvyn Jones honor in the Lions Club, is the highest award given nationally for those who show outstanding qualities during their tenure in the club. Secretary Bill Mitchell presented the award in front of a crowded room.

Gary and Bonnie Sloan.
Gary and Bonnie Sloan.

Outgoing King Lion Wayne Vogel, with incoming King Lion Gary Sloan.
Outgoing King Lion Wayne Vogel, with incoming King Lion Gary Sloan.

Bill Smythe accepting the Melvyn Jones award from Bill Mitchell.
Bill Smythe accepting the Melvyn Jones award from Bill Mitchell.

The Troianos, Kim, Dominick, Ernie IV and Ernie III.
The Troianos, Kim, Dominick, Ernie IV and Ernie III.

Dan and Diane Nickerson.
Dan and Diane Nickerson.

 

Debbie Amundsen, along with Yvonne Wood, at the breakfast.
Debbie Amundsen, along with Yvonne Wood, at the breakfast.

John and Nancy Riccardo of West Chester Pa. and Wildwood Crest, with their family outside of Surfside West for July 4.
John and Nancy Riccardo of West Chester Pa. and Wildwood Crest, with their family outside of Surfside West for July 4.


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