Written by: Frank Iacono
In Wildwood, New Jersey Duffer’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor is known simply as the “Best Scoop in Town!” However, this third generation family-run business is more than just your typical ice cream shop. Duffer’s combines the perfect ingredients to create an atmosphere conducive to family-driven fun.
Duffer’s can satisfy nearly every vacationer’s definition of the word “fun”. For those seeking a hardy breakfast, look no further. Served from 8am to 1pm, breakfast at Duffer’s restaurant can be enjoyed by early and late risers alike. Duffer’s offers a variety of classic and specialty homemade pancake choices, omelets, breakfast burritos, sunrise croissants, and Belgian waffles. With its cream cheese filling and topped with fresh strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped butter, the Stuffed French Toast is another must-try breakfast specialty. Afternoon visitors enjoy an equally varied lunch menu from fresh salads to steak sandwiches and from gourmet burgers to chicken wraps served from 11:30 a.m. Dinner guests enjoy an array of both American specialties and fresh-caught seafood specialties, from stuffed flounder, fried shrimp and deep sea scallops to homemade crab cakes.
Outside, Duffer’s features a challenging 18 hole nautical theme mini-golf course. This course allows golfers to tee up at the foot of a huge sand castle or a few feet from the tentacles of a giant purple octopus. It is perfect for the “gone to the beach” mood of the shore town’s patrons. Finish up the game at the shipwreck of the final hole where you putt for a chance to win a free round of gold during your next visit.
On the inside, Duffer’s video arcade has games for family members of all ages including Jurassic Park, Kung Fu Panda, and Batman. Additionally, they offer many amusing games for the little ones too like Gold Fishin’, Fishbowl Frenzy, and Spider Stomp just to name a few. Make sure to save all game tickets. Duffer’s arcade includes a prize redemption center where gamers can choose between tons of prizes ranging from Fun Dip to gumball dispensers.
When golfers and gamers work up an appetite, they can head into restaurant where the dessert fun begins. With the island’s largest and only selection of homemade ice cream flavors, Duffer’s offers countless possibilities. Enjoy old fashioned sundaes, banana splits, waffles and ice cream, ice cream sodas, floats, real shakes, and dessert specialties. Once you’ve made your selection, visitors can take a seat at an old-fashioned wooden booth in the parlor and enjoy the rays of colored light beaming from the stained-glass ceiling.
In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Regina Long and asking her a few questions about Duffer’s long-standing history and Victorian style atmosphere, their 18 hole mini-golf course and video arcade with redemption center, and their Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor.
The Creative Spotlight: How long has Duffer’s been in business and who or what inspired you to open a store location in Wildwood, New Jersey?
Regina Long: 2015 marks Duffer’s 41st season. My parents, Donald and Dorothy Long, were born and raised in the Wildwoods, so when they decided to open a business, Wildwood was the perfect choice.
TCS: For those who are not too familiar with Duffer’s or Wildwood, please share with us some background and tell us where you are located?
RL: Duffer’s is a Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor. At Duffer’s, we pride ourselves in being the original homemade ice cream in the Wildwoods! We are located at 5210 Pacific Avenue in Wildwood, NJ. We are situated on Pacific Avenue between Bennett and Hildreth Avenues. We serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snacks. For those looking to grab great tasting Duffer’s delicacies to-go, the parlor and restaurant has its own take out section for both food and dessert dishes. Just call ahead and the Duffer’s team will have your order ready for pickup when you arrive. We are a smoke-free and handicap accessible restaurant. Major credit cards accepted. Our hours are seasonal opening at 8 AM until Midnight. During the winter months we are closed.
TCS: How did you come up with the concept for the beautiful Victorian style atmosphere inside of Duffer’s?
RL: My mom, Dorothy, always loved Victorian Cape May and antiques. The Victorian motif lends itself perfectly to the traditional seashore ice cream parlor of this area.
TCS: How many flavors and different varieties of homemade ice cream do you currently have available and what is the most requested?
RL: We currently have 32 homemade ice cream flavors available including, black raspberry, butter brickle, chocolate marshmallow, marble caramel, rock road, pina colada, and sticky bun but believe it or not vanilla is still the most popular flavor even though everybody has their own favorite. Our staff relays suggestions from customers, and then we brainstorm and come up with a Weekly Featured Flavor Ice Cream. For example, we recently had Funkey Monkey as the featured flavor and it consists of chocolate ice cream with brownie bites, peanut butter chips, and banana chunks.
If you have a suggestion for a Feature Flavor Ice Cream, please email us your idea! You might see it on the menu!
TCS: Describe for us your extensive menu items which features breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snacks?
RL: We try to make most of our menu items right here at Duffer’s– we call it Duffermade. I would say we have a little of everything but always new additions each season. One of our most popular breakfast items is Stuffed French Toast ─ its thick slices of egg bread stuffed with a sweet cream cheese filling and topped with fresh strawberries. For lunch, we serve burgers, melts, cheese steaks, fish tacos, pulled pork, crab cakes, and huge salads ─ you name we have it. Almost every day we have a dinner special from meatloaf, chicken pot pie, or some fresh fish dish. What is nice about Duffer’s is the choices ─ we’ve got something for everyone!
To learn more about our menu, please visit our website.
TCS: What can you tell us about your 18 hole miniature golf course?
RL: Our 18 hole mini-golf course has a nautical theme. It’s a family-friendly course. Some of the holes are interactive. For example, we have a volcano that erupts, a fish pond that blows bubbles, and sharks that squirt water. The cost to play is $6 before 6pm then $7 ─ children 2 and under play for free.
And, don’t forget about Duffer’s famous singing Pelicans…
TCS: Share with us the various games featured in Duffer’s family-friendly video arcade with prize redemption center?
RL: We have all of the usual games like skee ball, basketball, and car racing but what makes us different is we get new games every season to keep things fresh. For example, we have games such as Jurassic Park, Kung Fu Panda, and Batman. Additionally, we offer a lot of fun games for the little ones too like Gold Fishin, Fishbowl Frenzy, and Spider Stomp just to name a few.
TCS: If a family wants to host their child’s birthday party at Duffer’s what is included in their day of fun?
RL: Birthday parties at Duffer’s are fun and easy and we clean up the mess. The birthday party package price is $12.95 per each child and it includes:
- Chicken Fingers or Hot Dogs Served with French Fries on a Duffer’s Frisbee
- Small Beverage
- Small Ice Cream with Gummie Warm Topping
- Game of Miniature Golf
- 4 Game Tokens for Each Child
You are welcomed to bring your own cake and candles! Parties are held from 2pm to 4pm. Children will eat first, have dessert, and then play golf.
TCS: Can you share with us some of the ways that you market your business?
Additionally, we have the following social media pages:
TCS: What is your website address and what can your visitors do on your site to learn more about Duffer’s?
RL: Our website is www.dufferswildwood.com
On the website, visitors can:
- Learn About Duffer’s
- Find Duffer’s Contact Information
- Find Out About Duffer’s Fun
- Learn About Duffer’s Menu
- View Lots of Duffer’s Pics
TCS: Tell us about the Duffer’s Gift Shop?
Before you conclude your Duffer’s visit, don’t forget to stop by our distinctive gift shop featuring dolls, Boyd Bears, pictures, Lefton Lighthouses, and many other selections to remember your special day.
TCS: Tell us about the Duffer’s Express, a train that runs throughout the restaurant, and Herbie a bear riding his unicycle on a tightrope?
RL: When dining in the restaurant, be sure to listen for the chug-chug of the model train known as the Duffer’s Express that circles the parlor. I don’t remember who came up with the train idea but we are always trying to come up with new features to set us apart.
Herbie was a bear we sold in our gift shop. My father made it motorized and Herbie was born to entertain thousands. Herbie bikes across a tightrope above the dining room, greeting new customers and dazzling diners.
TCS: Is Duffer’s associated with any of the Doo Wop activities or committees throughout Wildwood?
RL: Not at this time.
TCS: With Duffer’s being such a seasonal business tell us what you and your family do during the offseason?
RL: We rest up and start getting ready for the next season.
About Frank Iacono
Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.
Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.