In the summer of 1885, Patrick Collins opened on Decatur Street "...a fine marine boarding villa, convenient to the Iron Door and the big hotels, and a first class establishment." By 1900, Collins Cafe was advertising its fine old whiskies, fresh seafoods, Milwaukee beers and "neatly appointed rooms for ladies."
Andrew Zillinger, chief steward of the Merion Cricket Club on Philadelphia's Main Line, purchased the inn in 1906 and changed its name to The Merion. Several members of the club provided financial backing for the purchase to assure themselves a quiet oasis in Cape May with the same high standards they had come to expect. Rooms on the second floor were converted to private dining rooms and an outdoor beer garden was added (with a separate entrance for ladies).
Throughout the 20th century, The Merion Inn has retained the charm and the graciousness of the Victorian era. The Merion Inn's traditional regional seafood specialties, sizzling steaks and classic cocktails have kept generations of Cape May locals and visitors returning again and again.
Enjoy a cocktail and listen to live music in our beautiful turn-of-the-century bar -- the oldest in Cape May! We look forward to serving you in keeping with the tradition of hospitality and excellence begun over a century ago.