(May 17, 2019) Sanibel’s Oceanside 32 on 32nd Street is one of several establishments’ owner Kathleen Kropp opened this year.
She and her staff celebrated on Thursday, May 9, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the help of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber members, Mayor Rick Meehan, Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and Del. Wayne Hartman were among those who attended the event.
Kropp, originally from Baltimore, was beside herself with happiness that day.
“I’m so grateful that I got to meet the mayor and the dignitaries that were there,” Kropp said. “The people that came in had just such wonderful things to say about the food. I had noticed while I was sitting there that people not only were eating the food [but] people were [also] getting stuff to go.”
Sanibel’s Oceanside 32 replaces Rare and Rye in the La Quinta hotel. The restaurant, which can seat 204 people, has the same decor and look, but the menu has been changed.
“It’s upscale authentic cuisine,” Kropp said. “We do a lot of seafood and steak.”
Kropp hired former Big Easy Chef Tracy Owes to be head chef of the restaurant. The eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food choices range from breakfast salads and French toast, to shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, fish tacos and lamp chops, to cheese boards. The eatery caters to all diets and flavor preferences.
Several other establishments of Kropp’s are slated to or have already opened for business this year.
A Marisol Market and Café located in the Gateway Hotel on Baltimore Avenue and First Street, will open for business this weekend.
Another Marisol’s Market and Café and a Sanibel’s at Sunset Island, both on 67th Street, are expected to open the weekend of May 24. Kropp will also be opening a Marisol Market in Virginia later this year.
However, things have not always been so successful for Kropp, despite having more than 20 years of experience managing restaurants and other businesses.
“I was involved in a very, very abusive marriage,” Kropp said. “After 26 years, I decided to put myself in therapy and I was able to walk away from all my businesses and everything back in Baltimore and I wound up in a homeless shelter in Franklin Square Hospital.
“Three months after that, I started running the women and children shelter and opened up two more shelters,” she continued. “The bottom line is, I started my whole life over at age 50, which most people don’t get the opportunity to do.”
Four years ago, Kropp moved to Ocean City, and immediately set herself on a mission to do more for the community she cared about.
“This is where I want to be and if I plant my feet somewhere, I want to be a part of the community,” Kropp said.
Kropp has a close relationship with Diakonia, a homeless shelter located in West Ocean City. She often volunteers there, and regularly donates food that wasn’t sold at her stores.
Despite the many establishments that she will be supervising, Kropp said she is thrilled to help Ocean City thrive.
“I love new startup businesses,” Kropp said. “It’s a big task and I couldn’t do it without the support and the staff that I surround myself with. I have an awesome team headed by chef Tracy.
“The Lord has blessed me abundantly but I surround myself with very positive people,” she continued. “Like I said, without my team, I’m nothing. Ocean City is my home now and I just want to be a part of the community.”
Sanibel’s Oceanside 32 will be open for business year-round and offer happy hour prices from 3-6 p.m. every day, Kropp said.
“We’re going to be open, and we want to be able to attract the locals in Ocean City,” she said.
Currently, Sanibel’s Oceanside 32 is daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For more information, call 410-213-7273.