OCEAN CITY – Adam Osborn, the owner of West Ocean City’s newest addition, Osborns Westside Grill, is working on making the place his own as he takes a little and gives a little.
Osborn previously operated Carrabba’s Italian Grill for 13 years. He said almost a year ago he was given the opportunity to create his own restaurant, and he jumped at the chance.
“The neat thing is to watch this grow,” Osborn said. “It is no different than a plant … it’s a living-growing thing.”
With the recession still in play, the restaurant is still learning what works for the community and what doesn’t, according to Osborn.
“I call it recession-concession,” he said. “You have to feel out your community and you have to do what they need and what they want.”
Osborn added that now that the town is in its busy season Ocean City visitors are learning of the restaurant and he is seeing repeat customers during their one-week vacations.
Although the tourists are keeping Osborn busy, he hopes to create a locals’ sanctuary during the off season.
“We want to be your local comfort bar,” he said. “It is a community event when you come up here. We want you to know the person sitting next to you or across the way.”
Osborn added the community aspect was what was unique about Carrabba’s and he’s hoping to gain the same respect for his new restaurant.
According to Osborn, consistency is key in opening a new restaurant. For example, if a customer comes in for dinner, he or she will expect to have the same dish upon returning.
“Now that we’re into this for a few months we really got that,” he said. “We got the consistency down and the quality of food is there.”
Osborns Westside Grill includes a brand new bar. The property previously included a bar but it was removed when the Dough Roller moved in.
“We want people to know they can come and relax,” he said.
Happy hour is Monday through Friday 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11-7 p.m. The happy hour menu includes half off bottle and draft beer and rail and call drinks, plus $2 house wines. A good selection of discounted bar food is also offered.
Osborn describes his menu as comfort food. “We are known for the prime rib,” he said. “The prime rib absolutely melts in your mouth.”
The restaurant’s atmosphere is family-oriented and casual. There is a quality lunch menu and the dinner menu features great prices.
“We created the menu and we’re working hard at it,” Osborn said. “It’s like a living organism. We’re changing some things and we’re revamping the menu a little bit.”
A change to the menu in the near future will be a “Burger and Brew” section where it will pair up all burgers with a corresponding beer.
Dinner specials are also offered with a handful of dishes $12 and less. It includes spaghetti and meatballs, ham, fried flounder, a single crab cake, and meat and potato dinners with all the fixings.
Osborn is also dedicated to charity work, a reputation he gained at Carrabba’s. Osborns has already worked on five benefits and has functions scheduled into the future including the Wounded Warrior Project and the Veterans Memorial Golf Tournament in September.
“I have always done charity work … I have always continued to give,” Osborn said.
Looking into the future, Osborn said, “We want to continue the growth we are on in being consistent and being a valued restaurant. The price points are where they need to be, the quality is where it needs to be, there’s great service and all those things take a little time. Three months into it is where you really get your legs underneath of you and you find out what works and what doesn’t.”