Don Bowers was a good guy who once owned the Launch Haven bar in Somers Point. Hard by the side of the trolly line, "the Launch" was at the Launch Haven stop on the Shore Trolly Line from Atlantic City boardwalk to Ocean City boardwalk. This rail line is now a bicycle path, and the old bar is now condoed.
Don was a real character with a beautiful wife.
From what I understand, he won a lot of money on a horse at the track, and with the cash winnings he bought the bar, which he operated for about twenty years.
Don was one of the original guys who started the Atlantic City St. Patrick's Day Parade, along with bartender Joe Shields, and bar owners from Brigantine and Atlantic City.
At some point Don sold the Launch and bought a Jittney. The new owner remodeled the seedy, neighborhood shot and beer bar and made it a sports bar where we also played Satalite Trivia for a few years. I'll have to try to dig up some of the old stories I wrote about the place and what happened to it.
The new owner also owned the old Polynisian place on Maryland and Bay that became the Rock Box, and later, after that liquor license was sold to Randy Scarbough and moved across the street to become Markers (Cheers, Bubba Mac Shack. The building became an under 21 club called Sodas until the Launch's liquor license was moved to this location on Maryland and Bay, and called it Sidelines, a sports bar.
Then they tore down the Launch and built a condo.
Donald G. Bowers
BOWERS, DONALD G. 76 - of Margate, suddenly on Nov. 19. Born and educated in Philadelphia and a graduate of Southeast Catholic High School, he spent summers in Atlantic City before moving to Margate in 1964. A Veteran of the US Navy, he served on the destroyer, USS Furse in the late 1940's and early 1950's in the Mediterranean and North Africa and was an amateur boxer in the Navy with a 34-2 record. In 1964 he met and married his best friend and love of his life Joann. In 1966 he bought and ran for 22 years the Launch Haven inn in Somers Point where he met many of his now best friends and enjoyed their camaraderie and companionship. He was very proud of his Irish heritage and was on of the founders of the St. Patrick's day Parade in Atlantic City serving one year as the marshal. He loved golf and the friends he met an played with while a member of Atlantic City CC and Greate Bay CC. He also loved his winter vacations each year in Florida, basking in the sun by the pool where he never slept he " just rested his eyes". He was a loving dedicated, and devoted father and husband and proud pop-pop and playmate to K.C., Kaitlin, Taylor, Tara, and Joseph who brought him so much joy. Loved by all who knew him, he is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Joann, children Melissa (Kurt) Neinstedt of Hamilton Square, Kerry Ann Bowers of Egg Harbor Twp., and Kevin Bowers of Margate, dear cousins and lifelong friends Elaine Sliwkowski (Bob) and Father Phil Bowers. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday November 24, 2008 at 11:30 am Blessed Sacrament Church Jerome and Ventnor Aves, Margate. Friends may call from 10am at the Church. Interment will follow Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery Mays Landing. Arrangements by the Gormley Funeral Home LLC AC