OCEAN CITY – Just a
couple of months ago, the empty lot, which is now occupied by De Lazy Lizard,
didn’t house much more than an old Winnebago. Only 91 days after the first
piece of dirt was moved, De Lazy Lizard was open and ready for business and is
well on its way to becoming a top attraction in Ocean City.
Owner Justin Byers is
confident that the Ocean City establishment will become as successful as its
other location in Morgantown, W.Va.
“It was a popular spot
before we even came,” said Byers, referencing BJ’s South, the former restaurant
on the property. “There is good visibility from the bridge.”
If the massive, lime
green sign doesn’t attract some curious tourists, then perhaps the casual,
tropical atmosphere will. Unlike the Morgantown location, Byers says that the
Ocean City location will be more family dining focused with less weight put on
the bar or nightclub scene.
The new restaurant has
an area designated specifically for children with a wooden boat playhouse. The
whole family would certainly find the on-site boat rentals appealing as well as
the parasailing. By the end of the summer, the Lizard plans to have nearly 20
boat slips to make it accessible by both land and water.
Though the Morgantown
location specifically does catering, the Ocean City location is building an
extensive menu. When creating the menu, Byers said De Lazy Lizard is going to
try and “figure out what people want, and give it to them”.
Many of the items on the
menu are handmade every single day, such as mozzarella logs and hand-breaded
coconut shrimp. One of the popular menu items is a cheesesteak sub, made with
filet mignon. “The food is great here,” adds Byers.
The focus on food is
family friendly, but De Lazy Lizard isn’t forgetting its bar. Byers and fellow
owners Wayne Odachoski and Todd Hayes are working to construct a restaurant
that is a “relaxing, casual family fun dining atmosphere by day, and a party by
night,” according to Byers.
By having live
entertainment often, the kitchen open until at least midnight, and fun drinks
like a “watermelon crush”, the Lizard is maintaining it’s bar roots.
As with any new
restaurant, De Lazy Lizard is working to build a customer base and it’s proving
relatively successful already.
“People really seem to
enjoy what we are putting out there,” says Byers. “They keep coming back.”
It isn’t too difficult
to see why people, tourists and locals alike, keep returning to De Lazy Lizard.
The restaurant is comprised of two separate, wooden and spacious buildings that
are almost entirely open to the outside. Lights strung from the rafters,
tropical flowers and wooden chairs facing the dock and bay make it an appealing
place, both for dining and to have a drink with friends.
Byers, who opened the
Morgantown location six years ago and bought Coins Restaurant on 28th Street
with his cousin five years ago, says that he “[couldn’t] ask for a much better
office” than De Lazy Lizard.
“This place is
definitely a dream come true,” he adds. “It’s everything you could want in a