Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Laughter Fades: Farewell to the Casba

There's really no sugarcoating it.

It's a very sad sight at Atlantic & Spicer Avenue, as another part of Wildwood fades into history...

The Casba Comedy Club, the last comedy club on the island, is in the midst of being stripped down (as seen in the photo above, taken today by Cathie Behneman).

Longtime owner Mark "Don" Vito sold the Casba earlier this year. There is still no official word on what will replace the popular club, which kept audiences in stitches for the past 34 years.

The Casba was given a "Doo Wop" makeover about a decade ago, complete with vibrant neon signage and a shiny stainless steel exterior that made it a stand-out on the Atlantic Ave. strip in the heart of town.

But, the building's history goes back much further. Prior to being converted to the Casba, the structure was originally the Hotel Wildwood, home to the famous Glass Bar.

The advertisement at left comes from a 1963 Wildwoods Hotel/Motel guide.

We wish for all the best to the property's new owners, and hope that the Casba is replaced by a worthy addition to the Wildwoods' business landscape.

But, it is with heavy hearts, filled with fond memories and many nights of belly-splitting laughter, that we say goodbye to the Casba...

And good luck and thanks to The Don for so many great years!


  1. The Casba, formerly the Glass Bar, has been my family's business for over 50 years. It used to contain the longest bar in Wildwood and my brother and I cut our musical teeth there playing the jam sessions during the week in the summers when we were kids. It used to have a Hammond organ player, Cliff Duffney, as its main entertainer when my dad bought it in '61. After that came the Philly circuit bands playing rock & roll, then Vegas and Impersonator shows, then punk rock, then finally a comedy club. My mom Irene and brother Mark have been running the place for years and years and I'm sure they have mixed feelings about moving on. But oh, if those walls could talk!

    1. Thanks for the Info Rick. I remember when the Casba had the goose bar, forget the full name. Did your mo work the cash register at the Casba ?

  2. Sorry to see it go. Saw many great acts there! I will miss Mark Vito riding his bike on the boardwalk in the mornings with a sign advertising the acts for the night. Good luck to him!

  3. Where will we see Comedian Dom Irrera from Philly - he played the Casba every summer. Sorry to see it go as well - hope something equally attractive to the neighborhood will be taking its place. Bit by Bit the history is fading.

  4. Great place............thanks for hanging on so long Mark as I'm sure you could have sold during the RE boom for much more $$$

  5. This was one of the places we went as a late teen when the Casba was first opened. Such memories..

  6. What now more lame jokes from Vito and what is he going to do with all of his robes

  7. Vacation won't be the same!! The Casba was a must do on our weeks vacation down the shore. Iwas trying to find the 2013 schedule to plan which week to come and found out it was sold. So Sad!!! Good luck to the don and family. Keep helping the kids! We'll miss the opening intro, the robe, Dean Martin, and the belly laughss. I'm so bummed :(

  8. A very sad story that I was not expecting to see. My son and I loved the Casba. It was a huge part of our Wildwood memories.