FENWICK ISLAND — Smitty McGee’s, a restaurant and raw bar known locally for being a sports viewing hotspot, has seen its reputation enriched this summer with the addition of a sports lottery.
Since opening in 1989, Smitty McGee’s owner Dawn McGee explained that the bar has earned a reputation as a popular location to watch sports and grab dinner.
“We’re the biggest football bar in the area,” she said.
With a sports legacy two decades long and growing, McGee said that it was basic logic for Smitty McGee’s to jump at the chance to host a sports lottery, something that wasn’t available until recently.
“It only just became available this year, [before] it was only at casinos,” she said.
While Smitty McGee’s won’t be the only bar in Delaware or even Fenwick to offer sports lottery betting, McGee believes that it will serve as a welcome addition to everything else the restaurant already contains.
Besides sports, McGee underlined the bar’s food, drinks and atmosphere, asserting that Smitty McGee’s “caters to everybody, every age.”
“We have really good food … I don’t put anything on the menu that I don’t like,” she said.
McGee singled out Buffalo wings as something Smitty McGee’s specializes in.
“We sell more wings than anybody on the Eastern Shore,” she said.
When it does come to watching sports, McGee said that her bar takes it seriously, featuring 52 televisions spread out strategically to give great viewing to all.
Though the sports lottery has been at Smitty McGee’s for early bird pre-season action since August, it will really be hitting its stride this month with regular season football games, noted McGee. She expects both casual and long-time players and asserted that the sports lottery is much easier to understand than people first believe.
“Everything is a parley,” she said.
In a nutshell, a patron bets on a parley of three different football games, choosing the winner for each. If any of their guesses are incorrect, they lose the bet. If all three are correct, however, they win much more than they would have betting on individual games. While things like different cards and point spreads factor in, McGee was confident that even those not familiar with sports lottery or football in general could quickly get the hang of the system.
While the sports lottery is huge news for Smitty McGee’s, McGee hopes that more growth opportunities are on the horizon.
“We’re thinking about franchising,” she said.
McGee laid out the idea of seeing Smitty McGee’s pop up around Delmarva, but was quick to emphasize that she wanted everything to remain “local and more personal” than nation-spanning franchise chains.
However that plays out in the next few years, McGee said that visiting the only current location in Fenwick will be a rewarding experience whether you’re coming for the food, sports or drinks.
“If you find us, because we’re kind of in a secret place, you’ll become a customer for life,” she said. “People become addicted.”
Wherever Smitty McGee’s may grow to one day, McGee said that settling in Fenwick 23 years ago was one of the best decisions she ever made.
“I love it; there’s no better place on earth,” she said.
While McGee confirmed that she’s in no hurry to retire, she revealed that the restaurant will likely become a family business, with both a nephew and a niece involved in operations.
For more information on the establishment’s sports lottery, visit www.smittymcgees.com.