Weekend Business Picking Up For Essl’s Dugout

Essl’s Dugout on the Black Horse Pike has served five generations of families breakfast and lunch. The Dugout’s owner, Bob Essl, has seen the highs and lows of the Atlantic City area and believes the faded resort needs an image change to help it turn around. “For a resort to be as popular as it was and then to lose that….That image has been tarnished. They’ve got to bring that back,” Essl said. The positive news for his business is that weekends have been looking up.

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Toms River thrift snaps up Ocean City Home Bank

OceanFirst Financial Corp, a Toms River-based bank, on Wednesday said it will buy the parent of Ocean City Home Bank for $145.6 million, building on OceanFirst’s South Jersey buying spree after it swallowed up Cape Bank earlier this year. The deal, which will likely close at the end of this year or in the first few months of 2017, will make OceanFirst Bank New Jersey’s No. 4 bank by deposits, according to a press release. The newly combined bank will have $4 billion in loans, $4 billion in deposits and 61 branches from Middletown to Cape May. It was not clear whether there would be branch closures or layoffs as a result of the deal.

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