(Dec. 28, 2018) Atlantic General Hospital celebrated 25 years of service in 2018, while other businesses opened and prospered. Many operations changed management, added a new business, or moved to different locations.
Here are some of the county’s 2018 business highlights:
Cambria Resort and Conference Center, located adjacent to the Route 50 Bridge, celebrated its groundbreaking on Feb. 15. The eight-and-half story structure will have 133 rooms, in addition to a restaurant, indoor and outdoor pool and rooftop bar area. The $17.5 million hotel is projected to open next summer.
Ocean City developers signed a lease with Starbucks in early March to offer a drive-thru coffee shop in the 123rd Street shopping center, while a familiar local group will take over another restaurant in the center. The store opened in May.
The Shanghai Buffet and Bar, formerly Tokyo Seafood Buffet, is under new ownership and management and had its grand opening on May 1. The buffet offers more than 100 items for customers to try, including baked scallops, steamed snow crab legs, crawfish and sushi on 131st Street.
Phillips Seafood owners introduced Bayside Cantina to the public in early May, which offered a range of Mexican cuisine including tacos, fajitas, burritos and quesadillas on 141st Street. The restaurant was short-lived, as it closed permanently after four months of business in September.
Shawn and Donna Harman, owners of Fish Tales in on 22nd Street in Ocean City, celebrated 35 years with a parking lot party on Tuesday, May 22. Besides being a busy sportsfishing marina, Fish Tales is known for its fish tacos, and the original big tale sandwich. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place 3 p.m. with a number of guest speakers, including Mayor Rick Meehan and Delegate Mary Beth Carozza presented a proclamation from the governor.
Based on Coastal Highway in Ocean City opposite Seacrets, the Ocean Pines Beach Club officially opened May 26, two weeks after the well-received reopening of the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.
Less than one year after opening Ocean 13, a bistro and bar on the first floor of the Beach Plaza Hotel on 13th Street and the Boardwalk, Jeremy Brink and his partners purchased a second spot for a restaurant directly above it. The restaurant, formerly known as Adolfo’s, opened in late May. Originally owned by the Phillips family, the restaurant space has an old-fashioned, Prohibition-style atmosphere.
Tiki boat charters arrived in Ocean City at Fish Tales and Bahia Marina on 22nd Street, bayside in early June. Cruisin’ Tikis is a floating, motorized tiki bar franchise started in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fish Tales currently owns two tiki boats. The boats are fully Coast Guard rated and have all the safety equipment, such as running lights, underwater lights, life jackets, and a licensed captain.
Tailchasers Restaurant & Dock Bar, the most recent addition to the Off the Hook Restaurant Group family, opened on 123rd Street and the bay early June. Restaurateur Steve Hagen purchased the former Parched Pelican restaurant location on May 22 and turned it into a family-friendly and boat-accommodating establishment featuring American casual cuisine. Despite being part of the Off the Hook Restaurant Group, Tailchasers is the only one to not have “Hooked” in the name.
Joey Biafore took over Hair We R in the Montego Bay Shopping Center on 129th Street one year ago and celebrated her anniversary Sunday, July 1. Biafore worked as a stylist under the original Hair We R owner, and purchased the salon on her birthday, June 27, last year.
Nori Sushi Bar and Grill, a sushi and American cuisine restaurant, opened June 27, after undergoing a month of construction and renovations, at Gold Coast Mall on 115th Street. Chris and Sophia Christian, and their children Johnny, Phillip, and Saphara Lambrinos, along with younger brother, Basil Christian, 17, took over the former Mexican restaurant on June 5, doing most of the renovations themselves.
Delmarva Boil Company, featuring southern cuisine, opened on 143rd Street in Ocean City in late June. The company serves a low-country boil style feast. This style of cooking requires steam, and a traditional low-country meal includes red bliss potatoes, sweet corn, sweet onions, spicy andouille sausage and jumbo shrimp, served with a homemade cocktail sauce.
After months of demolition and construction, the K-Coast Surf Shop on 78th Street opened for business late June. The old structure was torn down last July and replaced with a 2,800-square-foot complex that includes a 4,700-square-foot space for a restaurant. The new store is equipped with the latest surfing equipment, including accessories such as booties, gloves, surfboard maintenance accessories and other necessary gear.
Trimper’s Rides commemorated its 125th anniversary with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and park-wide celebration on Aug. 17. Gov. Larry Hogan, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and Comptroller Peter Franchot made an appearance during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which took place front of the carousel in the indoor amusement building on the Boardwalk near the inlet. Of the 4,000-plus amusement parks that have existed in the U.S., Trimper’s is one of only 13 to have reached the 125-year milestone. Only 10 of those are still in existence. Trimper’s is the oldest family-run amusement park in the country, and the second oldest in the world, according to National Amusement Park Historical Association historian Jim Futrell. The oldest family-run amusement park in the world is Blackgang Chine in England, which opened in 1842.
A new “boat Uber” hit the bay in mid-August. OC Bay Hopper is a water taxi service set up in a kiosk near Food Lion on 117th Street. Co-owners and brothers, Steve and David Butz, partnered with Jeff Mason and came up with the idea last year. The service provides transportation from as far north as Harpoon Hanna’s in Fenwick Island, all the way down to West Ocean City. Trips to Ocean Pines will also be available. Currently, OC Bay Hopper has one boat and four licensed captains. The owners plan to add a fifth captain and three more boats by the time the business reopens next season in May.
Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen branched out to the Salisbury airport in October. The Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport has been expanded and redesigned to be more appealing for travelers. Additions include new lounges, furniture and the restaurant.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Residence Inn by Marriott on 61st Street on Thursday, Oct. 4, to celebrate its grand opening. The 150-room, 164,000-square-foot hotel opened its doors on April 30. The eight-floor facility features amenities such as an indoor pool, gym, restaurant, conference room, two bars, a buffet breakfast service, fire pit and wireless internet access.
Park Place Jewelers has moved from the White Marlin Mall in West Ocean City up the road into the Park Place Plaza, at 12720 Ocean Gateway. Construction of the Park Place Plaza began in 2016. The 3,000-square-foot jewelry showroom officially opened Tuesday, Oct. 23. It features high ceilings, opulent crystal chandeliers and gleaming oval and round display cases. Several businesses are located in the Park Place Plaza, including The Bank of Delmarva, Tequila Mockingbird restaurant and Dolle’s candy store and factory. Three additional spots are still available.
West Ocean City
Owner Jeanne Mills relocated Ocean Elements Salt Cave and Float Center in early February. The rest station was created in a partnership with nonprofit organization, Pathways for Veterans, to help ease military veterans back into society after they are discharged. The business also helps reduce anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Owner Margie Calvello opened Blushing Beauty Boutique on March 1 in West Ocean City and offers an assortment of dresses and accessories. Calvello’s shop features new and slightly used dresses, which range in price from $10 to $50. She also sells accessories including hats, pocket books, beach bags and jewelry.
Resort mainstay Mione’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant marked two decades of fresh Italian food in West Ocean City on March 12. Mione’s Pizza opened its doors in the Ocean City Factory Outlets on March 12, 1998. On March 24, Mione’s Pizza in West Ocean City celebrated its anniversary with 20 percent off menu items in addition to two slices of pizza and a soda for $5.25.
Chris Wall and Lloyd Whitehead, owners of West Ocean City’s popular Harborside Bar and Grille, celebrated 25 years in operation with a party from open to close on March 25.
NutriEatery on Route 50 in West Ocean City opened its doors in early April, offering fresh juices, smoothies, kabobs, pita sandwiches, falafel and other homemade Mediterranean flavors.
OC Pet Spa, located at 9935 Stephen Decatur Highway in West Ocean City, is a professional grooming facility, while also offering boarding and a dog daycare as well. The spa opened Aug. 1.
Dr. William “Eddie” Gunn opened the Shore Wellness and Med Spa in the Pavilions on Race Track Road at the beginning of the year. Patients can choose from several therapeutic programs, including treatment of scars, skin elasticity, wrinkles, hair loss, weight loss, unwanted hair, skin discoloration and spider veins. Shore Wellness & Med Spa doctors can also give medical cannabis recommendations for those suffering from chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizure disorder, glaucoma, severe nausea, and persistent muscle spasms.
Procino-Wells & Woodland LLC opened a third office in Berlin, Feb. 1, to improve its service to its Eastern Shore clients. At Procino-Wells & Woodland, all three attorneys practice elder law, focusing on estate planning to help families with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, sheltering assets from the costs of long-term care, assistance with settling estates and preserving public benefits for people with special needs. Procino-Wells & Woodland has been operating out of Seaford, Delaware since 2005 and its Lewes, Delaware firm opened in 2014.
Mike Vadella opened Burley Florist on Pitts Street Jan. 29, offering a wide assortment of flowers including roses, gerbera and regular daisies, hydrangeas, sunflowers, tulips, lilies, carnations, larkspurs, blue delphiniums, baby’s breath, waxflower, silver dollar and ruscus.
Atlantic General Hospital held a 25th anniversary celebration on Healthway Drive in Berlin in early May. On May 21, 1993, Atlantic General Hospital opened to the community with 62 beds, a small emergency department and a long-term care unit. Atlantic General Health System started with three primary care providers, but now includes 30 physicians in Berlin, Ocean Pines, Ocean City, West Ocean City and Pocomoke in addition to Ocean View, West Fenwick Island and Selbyville, Delaware. They offer primary care, pediatrics, gynecologic services, pulmonary care and imaging services.
Leanna Slaughter and Joe Fultz opened Just Four Paws pet grooming in June, located on Route 50 at 10543 Ocean Gateway, in Berlin. Slaughter has been grooming dogs for eight years and Fultz for 12 years. They both worked at other grooming businesses before opening Just Four Paws.
Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County opened a ReStore in early September at 9026 Worcester Highway, in Berlin. Habitat ReStores are home improvement stores that accept donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, houseware and building materials, among other items. Proceeds from the sales of these items help Habitat’s work in Worcester County. Projects include critical repairs for existing homeowners and building projects for new properties. This is the first ReStore in the county.
Diabetics in Worcester County can find treatment closer to home now, as Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Endocrinology Practice, located on 314 Franklin Ave., Suite 108, Berlin, officially opened mid-September. The center offers insulin pump and glucose sensor therapies as ways to help diabetes suffers, but it also provides services for other endocrine issues such as thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, sodium, potassium, blood pressure and cholesterol problems.
A dry-cleaning store on Williams Street in Berlin, which has operated for nearly 100 years, avoided closure after being purchased by Peninsula Cleaners. Venable Cleaners, which opened in 1924, nearly shut down all its locations as a result of lack of financial stability. Peninsula Cleaners officially took over the store in early November.
After record losses at the Ocean Pines yacht and beach clubs a year ago, the former facility opened May 18 to rave reviews and the latter reopened Memorial Day weekend. Both are under the new management of the Matt Ortt Companies.
The Hungry Donut opened July 1 on Nicholas Lane in Ocean Pines, serving piping-hot cake donuts with dozens of icings, drizzles and toppings to choose from. Owner Jay Shoup tested several different recipes before choosing one from a recipe book dating back to the late 1950s. The result is a light, airy, hint of lemon vanilla cake donut. Icing flavors vary from traditional favorites such as chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, to unique ones like mint, grape, maple, blueberry, peanut butter and Nutella.
Paul and Vinny’s Pizzeria opened for business on June 16 in the Ocean Pines Plaza on Cathell Road. From classic thin crust Neapolitan pizzas to cold subs, the restaurant serves 100-percent authentic, homemade Italian recipes made to order and always fresh. Co-owner Paul DePietro is no stranger to owning a restaurant. He ran Paul’s Pizza in Salisbury for five years, which closed in June to focus his attention on the Ocean Pines eatery. The Salisbury shop will be closed until further notice.
The FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Center of Ocean Pines, on 11204 Racetrack Road, held a grand reopening Tuesday, Sept. 25. The 4,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art physical therapy center houses multiple treatment spaces for a variety of therapeutic needs, such as neurological, vesicular, orthopedic – also including knee and hip replacements – and treatment for people who are experiencing dizziness.