Section Two

Nardi’s Is the New Graceland

Jul 11, 2018
Supplied Photo

A native of Bethlehem, Pa., Jay Allan bears a striking resemblance to the rock icon he emulates on stage every Tuesday night amidst a crowd of adoring fans at Nardi’s Tavern in Haven Beach. No rookie to the Elvis Presley impersonation scene, Allan has performed in MTV commercials, VH-1’s show “Rock of Ages” and the 2001 film “3,000 Miles to Graceland.” With a full calendar of bands and individual performers of every genre, Nardi’s has been a hub of musical entertainment summer after summer. Those looking to relive Elvis’s greatest hits need look no farther.

According to Allan, he became an avid enthusiast of “The King of Rock and Roll” as a teenager. He considers himself a “fan first” and strives to create an authentic musical experience for his audiences. He was originally drawn to Presley as a teenager when he saw the icon in a newspaper and recognized his incomparable ability to attract and cultivate fans with his transcendent combination of looks, voice and dance moves, even years after his death. Elvis Presley’s music is truly timeless; in Allan’s words, he is simply “the best.”

When it comes to the show, Allan is in character the second he puts on the costume ­– a second skin with the ability to transform him into the King himself. According to so-called Graceland Gate Girl Elizabeth, whose testimonial appears on Allan’s website, “Jay Allan is as close to a living Elvis Presley as you can get,” and Nardi’s patrons couldn’t agree more. On stage, he belts out hits such as 1972’s “Burning Love” and 1963’s “Viva Las Vegas.” His personal favorites? “Suspicious Minds” and “American Trilogy.” Fans gravitate toward Allan’s perfectly choreographed performances and impressive vocal range. With unbridled energy, he hits every beat without flaw. “The Elvis Show” has the ability to appeal to both the avid Presley fan and the casual admirer of rock music.

Although the flocks of adoring fans and screen time are perks for the impersonator, Allan claims his favorite aspect of performing is merely making people happy. “People have trouble in their lives, but when they come out for a show, they’re able to forget those problems for an hour or so,” he said. As fans converge on the stage between sets for photographs, it is clear to see their nights have been made.

Nardi’s Tavern is a venue especially dear to Allan, who has visited the Island since he was 3 years old. His favorite establishment is The Show Place Ice Cream Parlour in Beach Haven – no surprise for a born performer like Allan, who can be found each Tuesday at Nardi’s, starting at 5 p.m. For additional information, call 609-492-9538 or visit jayallanrocks.com.

— Morgan Turner

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