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  • Oldest restaurants

    I was just wondering, what are the oldest restaurants in Ocean City? Are there any places where you used to go as a kid where now you take your own kids (or grandkids)? I would be especially interested in hearing about places that really haven't changed since the 60's, 50's or earlier -- everything seems to be changing so fast now!
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  • #2
    Old Restaurant

    The oldest one I heard of is called "The Last Supper" but it may have closed since Jesus dined there. I personally like Harrisons Harbor watch for its service, food and view. I have been going there for years and it never seems to change in my opinion. Now in terms of a restaurant in a old building check this out:
    Adolfo's was built in 1881, and is believed to be the sight of the first Episcopal Church in Ocean City. At the end of the 19th century, it was purchased by Christopher Ludlam, who is credited with pioneering the area's commercial pound net fishing industry. The little house survived the great hurricane of 1933, that carved the Ocean City Inlet (in fact, there were several blocks of Ocean City, south of the existing inlet, that were lost to that hurricane). Adolfo's Restaurant was established in 1987 by Jerry Kuczinski who, like many that have lived here before him, is a great fisherman (just ask him!).

    In April of 2001, he turned the restaurant over to his friend and loyal manager of ten years, Kimberly Griffin, who had been running things anyway and her husband David "Kanook" Griffin, who has been in the restaurant business for 26 years and, by coincidence, is also a great fisherman (go ahead, ask him!).

    I hear this place is great for Italin food and I would love to try it one day but when I come to OC I come for seafood.
    Please let me know where you chose and how it is
    Phill

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    • #3
      I have no idea how long it has been running but from as far back as my mind can remember I have been going to the Bayside Skillet for breakfast. That place has been awesome every single time I have every eaten there. I think they have been in business from the early 1980's. I hope that place never shuts down, I would love to continue our family tradition and take my kids there someday.

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      • #4
        OC Restaurants - When they Opened

        Ocean City does not have lots of really old restaurants. Until the 1950s OC was dominated by hotels where one stayed and ate in their fine dining rooms. Meals were included and people were expected to "Dress for Dinner." That’s right, dresses and suits and ties for dinner every night while in OCMD - just imagine! Because people ate at their hotels, there were few restaurants in this era. However, in the 1950s the hotels began to be replaced by motels where meals did were not included with the room. I have heard that the Beach Plaza was the last meals-included hotel built in OC (built in 1954 by Ethel Kelley, mother of Mayor Harry Kelley). Some early motels had restaurants, but most did not. Since rooms had limited or no kitchens, people needed to eat out, so more restaurants began to appear in the 1950s.

        I would guess Captain Bill Bunting's Angler is the oldest OC restaurant. According to the web, they've been around since 1938. This is a realistic date since the Bunting family owned significant tracts of bay-front land from around the time the inlet was cut.

        Phillips Crab House opened in 1956.

        Billy's Subs (originally at 140th Street) opened in 1959.

        The Bonfire opened in 1973, before that the building was built for a place called "The Golden Bull." I suspect the building was built around 1970.

        Anthony’s (16th Street – with the steamship round), English’s, The Paddock, and The Wharf (now owned by Higgins) have all been around a long time – probably since the 1960s.

        The Embers, Fager’s, Bayside Skillet (originally just called "The Crepe and Omelet Place") were all open by the late 1970s. Paul Revere Smorgasbord was open (and last cleaned) in the early 1970s (I know I went there in 1973 or 1974); I don't know when it first opened.

        JR’s Ribs and Bull on the Beach opened around 1980.

        BJ’s on the Water opened in 1979.

        Hooper’s Crab House opened in 1981.

        Harpoon Hanna's opened in 1983.

        Harrison's Harbor Watch opened in 1984.

        The Victoria Room (in Dunes Manor) opened in 1987.

        Adolfo’s opened in 1987, but their web site says the building’s been there since 1881.

        Anyone remember Wolfie’s (where Lombardi’s now is), Granny’s and Pappy’s? They were all basically the same (Pappy’s was a Maryland chain), but supposedly there was some issue in the 1970s with restraints with the same name all having a liquor license in OC. The interior at Lombardi’s, other than the glass room on the side, is substantially the same as it was when Wolfie’s was there.

        Other establishments that now RIP: Mario’s, Sea Ranch, Sand Piper, BJ’s South, Weitzel’s, The Beef Nook (where Belly Busters is now), Danny’s, Libby’s, The Hobbit (it is supposed to return), and the Dutch Bar.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by OCGuy View Post
          Anyone remember Wolfie’s (where Lombardi’s now is), Granny’s and Pappy’s? They were all basically the same (Pappy’s was a Maryland chain), but supposedly there was some issue in the 1970s with restraints with the same name all having a liquor license in OC. The interior at Lombardi’s, other than the glass room on the side, is substantially the same as it was when Wolfie’s was there.
          .
          Can't remember either one of those, but I do remember a place called Shucker's, it was very popular back in the 70's but for the life of me I can't remember where it was located.

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          • #6
            I remember Granny's growing up. We stayed at the Sea Nymph right across the street from there. Melvin's was a pretty old place but closed a few years ago. They have reopened under the same name, but not the same family or management. I have been told it's not as good. Anthony's, while not a true restaurant, sure has been there a long time. Staying right on 16th Street, I was there literally at least once a day as a kid for food or ice cream.

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            • #7
              Outstanding Post OCGuy. Amazing how many seemingly successful places came and went. I sure miss Danny's (remember the big A-frame "eat native" sign?) and Sea Ranch was great for breakfast..their pancakes with fresh fruit topping could not be beat. Beside the extinction of unique dining...we are also losing our OC general stores...those distinct personality stores which carry all beach supplies from a to z plus snacks, hardware, tackle, etc. They were run by the friendliest most knowledgeable folks who always had time to chat and kept long hours to serve their customers. I love the little store up by Phillips on 141st...they have a little of everything and fresh donuts that remind me of the bakery donuts from the 70's. shhhh, don't spread the word too far or the folks who stand in line at the prune will all rush this hidden gem!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by greenwaves View Post
                ...I love the little store up by Phillips on 141st...they have a little of everything and fresh donuts that remind me of the bakery donuts from the 70's. shhhh, don't spread the word too far or the folks who stand in line at the prune will all rush this hidden gem!
                That little store (at the Exxon station on the corner of 142nd) always had a line on weekend mornings when we lived up at that end of town. GREAT fresh donuts.


                And, yes, awesome post, OCGuy. Thanks for the detail.

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                • #9
                  If carry-out counts, Thrashers probably wins. It's been serving fries since 1929!

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                  • #10
                    Shuckers

                    DeanM: I also remember Shuckers. I think it was actualy called "Old Shuckers." I belive it was either in the building where Higgins Crab House (31st St) or PGN Crab House (29th St) now operate.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OCGuy View Post
                      DeanM: I also remember Shuckers. I think it was actualy called "Old Shuckers." I belive it was either in the building where Higgins Crab House (31st St) or PGN Crab House (29th St) now operate.
                      OCGuy, I know it wasn't too far up past the end of the boardwalk so you are probably right. I remember they used to serve a dish called the Admiral's Delight, and it was a pot that they brought out to your table with whole lobster, crab legs, clams, shrimp, and other seafood in it...

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                      • #12
                        I just ran across a book of matches with "Old Shuckers Seafood Restaurant 31st and Coastal Highway" on it.

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                        • #13
                          Awesome info as always, OCguy! Thanks!

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                          • #14
                            Great post. The only comment I don't understand is the one at the end listing restaurants that RIP and includes The Hobbit with comment that may be rebuilt. Is that a reference to the old Hobbit which was torn down then rebuilt in the condos or something new to do with the current Hobbit?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JackB View Post
                              Great post. The only comment I don't understand is the one at the end listing restaurants that RIP and includes The Hobbit with comment that may be rebuilt. Is that a reference to the old Hobbit which was torn down then rebuilt in the condos or something new to do with the current Hobbit?
                              This is a very old post that has been resurrected for some reason. That comment was from 2007.

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