The Montreal Beach Resort Marks 50 Years in Cape May

Published on : Thursday, January 21, 2016

Daytime-Exterior-PoolSweet vacation memories are filled with sun-drenched beach days, sea shell collecting, walking along the water’s edge, sunbathing in oceanside cabanas, salty breezes, crashing waves and vacationing at a resort generations have called their Jersey Shore home. These memories are priceless to the countless vacationers who have stayed at Montreal Beach Resort since its doors first opened in June 1966.



Now more inviting than ever, the Montreal Beach Resort celebrates 50 years of memories in 2016. Standing prominently along the Atlantic coastline at Madison Avenue in Cape May, the property has been lovingly owned and maintained by three generations of the Hirsch Family, who’ve made countless improvements to the beloved vacation resort over five decades.



New for 2016, the Montreal Beach Resort is unveiling a deluxe, all-new look for its celebrated restaurant, Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille, and its panoramic patio bar with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean. Harry’s will feature a fresh, new design to match its celebrated cuisine and spirits.



“We’ve been part of the Cape May community for 50 years, and we’re committed to maintaining our long-time tradition of treating customers like they are members of our family. We also continually aim to keep up with trends and incorporate unique amenities that are found only at our resort,” said co-principal Larry Hirsch.



The Montreal Beach Resort’s 50-Year Evolution
The fact that generations of the Hirsch Family not only exist today, but successfully thrive behind a 50-year legacy, is nothing less than miraculous. Hotel founder, the late Harry Hirsch, was 15 when the Nazi army invaded Poland and he was imprisoned in Auschwitz. He and his wife, Sophie, survived Nazi Germany to eventually come to America and live the American dream.



In 1951, Harry and Sophie Hirsch arrived from Europe in a Philadelphia port via cargo ship. Having been raised in the isolated villages of Poland, neither spoke a word of English. With much perseverance, good fortune and the kindness of strangers, they began to build a life for themselves in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.



Harry’s skills as a carpenter served him well, allowing him to work a series of construction jobs to make ends meet. In 1955, Harry and Sophie decided to leave city life behind and settle down in the countryside, setting up a chicken farm in the small agricultural town of Corbin City, New Jersey. Years of hard work finally paid off and the farm grew, prompting Harry and Sophie to open an egg and poultry delivery service, providing provisions to local restaurants. Harry’s route often took him to the Jersey Shore and, at times, to Cape May – a town with which he and Sophie fell in love.



In 1965, beachfront property became available at the empty corner of Beach Drive and Madison Avenue. Planning to build a home for their family and generations to come, they purchased the land, only to discover that the property was zoned for commercial use. At first devastated by the news that they could not build their dream home, Harry quickly found a way to turn a mistake into an opportunity. They began construction on a 27-room motel – named the Montreal Motor Inn in recognition of the many Canadians who visited the Jersey Shore, just as he and his wife did.



Being the youngest in a large family, Harry had a vision to recreate the intimate family atmosphere he knew from the “old country” he held dearly.



Over the next decade, visitors from around the country and the world flocked in increasing numbers to Cape May for its beautiful beaches and historic Victorian architecture. The small motel simply couldn’t meet the growing demands of vacationers, so Harry and Sophie embarked on an expansion. A third floor was added, then a fourth – creating the 70-room hotel that is the present-day beachfront resort.



Sophie passed away in 1975. Shortly thereafter, son Larry joined his younger brother Joseph and entered the family business full-time. Larry’s son Jonathan joined the business after college. Today, half a century after its founding, the Montreal Beach resort is a family business spanning three generations. The Hirsches renamed the hotel the Montreal Beach Resort in 2013, to match the name with the hotel’s transformation into a complete resort destination. Harry, the Inn’s founder, passed away in 2011, leaving his American Dream in the loving hands of his family.



The Montreal Beach Resort Today – A True Cape May Resort Experience
The Montreal Beach Resort is a true Cape May resort. Unlike any typical seaside experience, the resort stays true to its core value of treating customers like family – maintaining the family-friendly atmosphere upon which it was built, while keeping its amenities modern and appealing. Today, the Montreal Beach Resort is one of only a handful of hotels along the entire Jersey Shore to remain under the continuous management of one family.



“We know Harry – my grandfather – would be pleased and proud of the changes and improvements we’re making on an ongoing basis here at the resort,” said Jonathan Hirsch, Food and Beverage Director and third generation family member. “He always encouraged the staff and the family to push our boundaries, and try new things to make the customer experience even better – we’re doing just that, and more, and invite everyone to visit and revisit our resort for the sheer enjoyment of it,” he added.



The property not only features 70 well-appointed rooms, a large oceanfront pool and two panoramic sundecks, it is also located directly across the street from the award-winning beaches of Cape May, making the Montreal Beach Resort the ideal choice for a vacation for families and couples, as well as for business or social gatherings. And for those who live nearby, there’s no better way to escape the everyday than with a “stay-cation” at the Montreal.



Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille – All-New for 2016!
Already a Cape May ‘must-do’ and a great place to enjoy dining inside or out, Harry’s will be even better when it opens for the 2016 season. We’ve employed one of the region’s top hospitality architecture firms to roll out a fully redesigned dining room and panoramic ocean bar; and infused a fresh take to our top menu items and added new drink and menu specialties – all while keeping a nod to the tradition that’s made Harry’s a favorite for locals and visitors alike.



Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille’s grand re-opening is scheduled for Sunday, May 8, serving, breakfast, lunch and dinner, amazing views, live entertainment, and the laid-back vibe for which Harry’s is famous, along with an extensive collection of wine and beer – including craft beers and growler fills.



Montreal Beach Club – Beach Service Open to Guests & the Public
Want to enjoy Harry’s amazing menu items with your feet in the sand? Hungry beach goers can enjoy chairside beach service from Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille – with chairside food and drink service at the Montreal Beach Club.



One of only a few such exclusive beach clubs on the Jersey Shore, the Montreal Beach Club takes beach days to a whole new level. Located directly on the beach in front of the Resort, this exclusive span of Cape May beach features luxurious private cabanas, umbrellas beach chairs and beach attendants to look after your every need. Available seasonally, both guests and public beach-goers are welcome at the Montreal Beach Club.



The Wine Cellar at Harry’s – Cape May’s Only Oceanfront Liquor Store
The Montreal Beach Resort is proud to have Cape May’s only oceanfront liquor store – The Wine Cellar at Harry’s. Staffed with friendly and knowledgeable employees, The Wine Cellar prides itself in supplying delightful and tempting libations. Browse an incredible selection of wines from not only New Jersey, but around the world. The Wine Cellar at Harry’s features an impressive selection of domestic, imported and craft beers, as well as a wide array of popular liquors and spirits. The Wine Cellar offers the classics along with an ever-changing landscape of new products, specials and recommendations. Whether you are planning a large party or an intimate dinner, the team at The Wine Cellar can help you choose the perfect beverages for your event. Special orders are also available by request for any of those hard-to-find items.



The year-long Golden Anniversary kicks off in January 2016. The hotel will open its doors on April 8, 2016 for its 50th season, and invites long-time patrons and new guests to be a part of this special upcoming year. The hotel is planning a list of special events just for the occasion – and special memorabilia and keepsakes, including a fun, fact-filled coffee table book on our history and growth.

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