(May 17, 2019) After nearly four decades of serving hot pizza and cold beer in a family-friendly, resort-themed environment, the Dough Roller is expanding its reach beyond the island with a new location in West Ocean City, at 12849 Ocean Gateway.
Bill Gibbs launched the first Dough Roller in 1980 after purchasing the Breakers Hotel at Third Street on the Boardwalk the year prior and repurposing the lodging establishment’s front porch to provide Italian cuisine by the seaside.
All three of Gibbs’ sons help run the family business. Jeff Gibbs manages the Third Street location and Gary helps run the 41st Street and 70th Street restaurants. Kevin Gibbs manages the South Division Street spot.
The fifth location opened last Wednesday with a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Right now, this is our only location off the island,” said Heather Lowe, Dough Roller’s marketing manager.
Despite past Dough Roller expansions failing to subsist, most recently at the site of the current Hooters at 12513 Ocean Gateway, Lowe said the latest spot offers a larger footprint in the heart of West Ocean City.
“What does set this location apart is it is our first location with a separate bar atmosphere,” she said.
Lowe said patrons can grab a brew, glass of wine or mixed drink at the Dough Boy’s Bar, which was modified to a width of 32-inches to accommodate pizzas.
“We’re widening the customer base a little bit,” she said.
Lowe said the restaurant will be in operation year-round and features a wealth of televisions for sports enthusiasts and décor details long familiar to Dough Roller patrons, including a bar mural, iconic carousel horses, lunch boxes and wooden booths.
Although the Dough Roller on South Division Street in Ocean City has a small bar with barely a handful of seats, Lowe said the West Ocean City location is the first spot with an actual bartender.
“They never wanted to expand into the bar environment because we wanted to still be able to cater to that homestyle family environment,” she said.
Taking the helm at Dough Boy’s Bar is a long-familiar face in the resort, Greg Grim, formerly of Harborside Bar & Grill.
“The orange man has come here,” she said.
Dough Roller’s adult beverage venture was designed with the bar separated from the main dining areas to maintain a child-friendly setting, Lowe said.
Catering not only to adult drink options, Lowe said the newest Dough Roller will also serve up cuisine for fully-developed palates.
“There are some foodie style items on this menu that are different that our typical Dough Roller,” she said.
In addition to a full breakfast menu, including over a dozen varieties of buttermilk pancakes, Lowe said the just-launched Dough Roller will have select offerings, featuring entrees such as pesto and parmesan-crusted salmon and unique appetizers such as shrimp and grits.
Samantha Mairano is the executive chef of the new restaurant.
“We will be developing new menu items exclusive to West Ocean City throughout the summer … and doing daily specials,” she said.
Lowe said plans are underway to celebrate the iconic family-owned Ocean City restaurant chain’s 40 anniversary next year with announcements forthcoming as events materialize.
“This is an exciting time for Dough Roller,” Keith Melvin, GM of Dough Roller, West Ocean City, stated in a press release. “While we have been in business for nearly 40 years, we continue to grow and offer an inviting space for family traditions and memories at the beach in Ocean City.”