At dusk on a current Monday, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House a white linen chain steakhouse with roots in Chicago soft-opened in its brand-new home at Fishtown’s SugarHouse Casino to a crowd of a welcomed families.
As executive chef Terry White’s thick ribeye’s and small filets flew out of Hugo’s newly-anointed cooking area, the buzz heard throughout the dining-room was deafening: what do you consider SugarHouse’s $164 million growth, and how will its new, intended level of sophistication change its video game?
On May 9, the ribbon was cut on that expansion which initially broke ground in July 2014, one that, as designed by Cope Linder Architects of Philadelphia, enhanced SugarHouse’s 108,000-square-feet to 260,000 with additional video gaming areas (44 brand-new table games, 289 brand-new slots, a 28-table poker space). In addtion to Hugo’s, non-gaming facilities include an Event Center (featuring performances from the similarity Daily Show host Trevor Noah and ex-Eagles member Don Felder), Geno’s Cheesesteaks, Saxbys Coffee, Tacconelli’s Pizzeria, and more.
All this, and there’s a seven-story, almost 600,000-square-foot parking lot all to the pleasure of SugarHouse General Manager Wendy Hamilton, its CEO Greg Carlin and everyone associated with the expansion since the casino was first awarded a gaming license in 2006.
When they were licensed, SugarHouse had a strategy in location to create a casino (opened in 2010), display market conditions, then choose when to expand centers to fit customers’ requirements, states Doug Harbach, Director of Communications at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.’
The careful eye over all Pennsylvania casino company including Parx in Bethlehem, Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia and the currently-stalled Live! Hotel & Casino task at 900 Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia’s stadium district, specifies that everything went according to Hoyle when it pertained to expanding SugarHouse.
Just like its initial structure, the plans for extension were examined by the board and hearings were held throughout the neighborhood successfully, Harbach says. We don t just hold hearings in conference rooms. We go into the neighborhood; hear from the public about how efficiently the casino is running there.
To date, SugarHouse is being a great next-door neighbor along with an excellent local business.
Neighborhood groups such as Penn Treaty Special Services District, the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, & DE, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Fishtown Action and the Philadelphia Fancy Brigade Association of Mummers all voted for in permit renewal and growth hearings between 2011 and 2015.
Indoor parking helped that was incredibly advantageous as was new food outlets, conference rooms and the possibility of extra jobs, states Harbach.
He kept in mind that, since March 2016, Live! Casino in South Philly has actually been on hold, due to lawsuits, after its moms and dad company, Stadium L.L.C. and its application to operate a casino hotel (which was appealed by SugarHouse HSP Gaming L.L.P.) was sent back to the PGCB by the state Supreme Court to more carefully examine the company’s ownership structure. Absolutely nothing brand-new to report, says Harbach, who chooses not to discuss exactly what might be an outcome concerning Live!