Our Stories : History & Heritage
The Blue Pig Tavern
A Watering Hole with a History
Congress Hall was historically a genteel hotel where guests could enjoy the orchestra in residence and waltz in the high-ceilinged ballroom, but more tawdry activities could be found outside the main building. By the 1840′s, gambling had becomes popular and clubs took hold in many resort towns, including Cape May. In 1845, the North’s most famous gambler, Henry Cleveland, opened a pale blue two-story club on the corner of Congress Hall’s four-acre lawn. He christened it The Blue Pig, and it attracted some of the country’s most prominent and notorious gamblers, as well as a mysterious New York widow who won more than $50,000 in one evening, never to return. The Blue Pig eventually relocated from the lawn of Congress Hall to the corner of North and Congress Streets, where it remains today as a private dwelling.
When Congress Hall was renovated in 2001, the walls of the dining room were stripped of their drywall, exposing antique painted paneling that featured a blue pig. Naturally it seemed fitting to revive the illustrious club’s namesake for the latest incarnation of Congress Hall’s tavern. With a heritage that dates all the way back to the mid 1700s, the Blue Pig has become a beloved fixture of the hotel, popular with adults and children alike.