Beatrice by the Beach

tales 9 Beatrice by the BeachIt was a scene straight out of an American Apparel ad: A half-dozen or so good-looking guys and gals in their 20s, sporting beachy garb and body piercings, lounging around on an unmade bed, while two skinny dudes made out on a leopard chair in the corner.

It was almost sunrise and there was no more beer. Empty bottles lay scattered around the room, along with some glasses full of cigarette butts.

On the nightstand, beside a white lamp shaped like a cockatoo, a shiny new iPod docking station blasted out an eclectic mix of dance hits, ranging from the contemporary (the Killers’ “Somebody Told Me”) to the classic (Neneh Cherry’s 1989 smash “Buffalo Stance”).

It was a scene straight out of an American Apparel ad: A half-dozen or so good-looking guys and gals in their 20s, sporting beachy garb and body piercings, lounging around on an unmade bed, while two skinny dudes made out on a leopard chair in the corner.

It was almost sunrise and there was no more beer. Empty bottles lay scattered around the room, along with some glasses full of cigarette butts.

On the nightstand, beside a white lamp shaped like a cockatoo, a shiny new iPod docking station blasted out an eclectic mix of dance hits, ranging from the contemporary (the Killers’ “Somebody Told Me”) to the classic (Neneh Cherry’s 1989 smash “Buffalo Stance”).

Over the din, you could hear all sorts of debauched tales involving various intoxicants: “When I studied abroad in London, one of the Americans that I was with brought, like, a crazy amount of Adderall. … Everybody partied hard-core for, like, three weeks.”

And other stories: “So, I go downstairs earlier to get some ice, and the security guard comes up and says, ‘You remember me from last night?’”

The door to the bathroom seemed constantly in motion, as the after-party crowd streamed in and out: one, two, sometimes three at a time.

“It’s been the slowest month of the season, as far as, like, weekends in New York go in the summertime,” noted 22-year-old aspiring fashion designer Avtar Khalsa, dressed in a bright green tank top, shorts and a pair of leopard loafers. “Like, nobody really does anything.”

That’s why Mr. Khalsa and friends packed their bags and hopped on a bus to Atlantic City, the gritty New Jersey gambling town more commonly associated with slot-junkie retirees but now being groomed for an all-out invasion of otherwise jaded New York hipsters.

In fact, with the right connections, a bona fide member of the downtown cool crowd could secure a free room and a free bus ride from Manhattan and back, simply for the sake of marketing.

A considerable segment of that coveted scene had been transplanted to the South Jersey shore this past weekend to mark the grand opening of the 5th Floor, the hugely hyped social centerpiece of Cape Advisors’ new $110 million beachfront development, the Chelsea, a monumental throwback to Atlantic City’s past glory days as a resort town, before gambling took root. (Or, room service, apparently, which was yet unavailable.)

The stylish 330-room boutique hotel, which lacks a single gaming table or slot machine, officially opened to overnight guests three weeks ago. But its perhaps most alluring fifth-floor amenities, including a classy new Stephen Starr steakhouse, Chelsea Prime, and a sprawling 15,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, complete with swimming pool and full-service bar, were just unveiled over the weekend.

A mid-century-style diner called Teplitzky’s, also by Mr. Starr, remained under construction, as did a planned 7,500-square-foot spa complex, both on the ground level.

Helping to promote the place as a haven for hip New Yorkers were downtown party impresarios Matt Abramcyk and Paul Sevigny, co-owners of the exclusive Beatrice Inn in Greenwich Village, who’ve been hired as consultants on the Chelsea’s ambitious nightlife program.

It’s a job the Beatrice boys take very seriously.

“What do you mean we don’t have Kahlúa?” asked an astonished Mr. Abramcyk after a bartender rebuffed his request for a White Russian on Saturday afternoon. He later scoured the cocktail menu with the bar manager, giving his blunt assessment of the various available drinks.

A crushed strawberry-infused mojito, for one, blended seamlessly into its surroundings as glasses were occasionally kicked over onto the pink tile in the pool area, where Mr. Abramcyk, proudly sporting a New York Rangers T-shirt—on rival Philadelphia Flyers’ turf, no less!—and a pair of Ray-Ban aviators, was holding court, surrounded by family and friends, including Maxim magazine editor at large Steven Garbarino and Mr. Garbarino’s wife, model turned fashion designer Maddy Simpson.

A bevy of sunbathing beauties had settled into comfy lounge chairs nearby.

Bikini-clad Beatrice regular Susan Kirschbaum, a blogger and novelist (and former Observer contributor), desperately tried to avert the leering looks of a stocky mustachioed man across the pool who bore an eerie resemblance to the 1970s adult-film actor Ron Jeremy. Probably a local.