OCEAN CITY – de Lazy Lizard has stretched its tail across downtown Ocean City, adding a new brew pub to its operation that offers a variety of the restaurants own brand of craft brew and tavern dishes.
The new de Lazy Lizard Brew Pub is located in the former Melvin’s Steak House at 25 N Philadelphia Avenue in downtown Ocean City. The brew pub is about 200 feet away from de Lazy Lizard’s original location on the west end of 1st Street on the bay.
Owner Todd Hays explained he and his business partner, Wayne Odachowski, decided to open the brew pub when 90-minute waiting times became the norm at the original de Lazy Lizard during the summer months.
“No matter how great the city is in granting us more and more tables because we keep acquiring more and more parking, it is never enough, so I thought it would be great to have another place particularly when it rains because we have hundreds of unhappy people when they can’t get a seat and then when it starts raining,” Hays said.
The original de Lazy Lizard offers both indoor and outdoor seating, but the brew pub is all indoor dining with 132 seats and 40 bar stools.
Upon walking into the brew pub, the brewery is visible behind a glass wall with a new square bar positioned in front. There is plenty of seating, including large tables for family seating. There is an outdoor “smoking deck”, and there are plans to add a humidor in the near future.
The brew pub offers 40 craft brews, 20 on tap and 20 in cans or bottles with intent to eventually serve six of their own beer recipes at all times, and Hays plans to add another 12 taps in the future to have a total of 32 handles.
de Lazy Lizard received its federal brewery license three months ago followed by a license from the State of Maryland and a Worcester County liquor license. They began brewing their own brand of craft brews once construction had been completed.
Currently, the brew pub is selling three of its own craft beers, a Copper Ale, Blonde Ale and Double IPA.
“We have already sold out of Copper Ale, and our Blonde Ale is killer … it is the hottest thing right now,” Hays said. “It is the coolest thing. My original intention was to have another restaurant to scoop up the dinner demand but what is happening is people are so interested in craft brews that they are coming in for that, which is great.”
de Lazy Lizard Brew Pub along with its “Brew Lizard” Rodney Hillman from Baltimore has plans to come out with a seasonal ale in the off-season, which will most likely be a pumpkin recipe. They are also coming up with a caramel porter and a light crisp lager.
“It is such a cool industry … everyone is really clubby and friendly. We have had Burley Oak and EVO in our place constantly helping us with the equipment and coming up with cool recipes. They have virtually been consultants for us … they are great,” Hays said.
de Lazy Lizard brewery currently consists of a large copper tank and four fermenter tanks. A copper tank makes at least 14 kegs per batch. A batch then goes into one fermenter, so the brewery could have 4 batches fermenting at a time, which takes 14 days. Hays wants to add at least 8 more fermenters.
“I see a much heavier demand,” Hays said. “Our two restaurants can sell all the beer we produce right now.”
Besides selling de Lazy Lizard’s own brand of beer in their own two restaurants, Hays is looking to distribute the beer in states that are least five hours away from Ocean City.
“The strategy is to take de Lazy Lizard brand, which is becoming very popular, and make it available in a bar and/or restaurant in your neighborhood so that when you are planning your vacation you will have de Lazy Lizard and Ocean City in your plans,” Hays said.
The brew pub will ultimately be a show place where we make the product and serve overflow customers but it will be a great off-season restaurant, Hays added.
de Lazy Lizard Executive Chef David Mikozzi from Baltimore has created an expanded tavern menu to debut in the off-season for Ocean City locals. Currently the brew pubs menu shares some of the same dishes with the original location, such as the Twin Stuffed Lobster Tails entrée and a list of other appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches but the pub offers unique tavern specialties.
A popular appetizer at the brew pub is the Tater Tot Buffalo Chicken with diced buffalo chicken, 3 blend cheese, and drizzled with ranch dressing or the Brats Sausage Sampler served with dark ale mustard and horseradish mustard accompanied with garlic bread.
A couple of entrees that stand apart from the rest are Banger and Mash with Natty Boh Bratwurst, mashed potatoes, German kraut covered with nut brown ale gravy, or the Fish N Chips with hand dipped Guinness and Harp battered cod with fires and coleslaw.
Both locations will remain open in the off-season. On top of an expanded beer and wine menu, the brew pub will be offering NFL specials throughout the football season. Hays proclaimed the new pub to be the next downtown Baltimore Ravens bar.