One Year After Fire, Waterman’s Back With New Look, Many Changes

1 watermans

BERLIN — A West Ocean City staple since 1982, Waterman’s Seafood Co. re-opened this month after a one-year hiatus for renovations following a fire back in October of 2012.

The physical look of Waterman’s has undergone some dramatic changes during that time, including a much brighter and more modern interior and exterior, an expanded menu and a new banquet room.

The fire hit the restaurant hard, according to co-owner Jamy Davy, who bought into Waterman’s in 2004. But despite having to be closed for a year to rebuild there was a silver lining since the damage resulted in the decision to modernize the entire operation.

“Oct. 5 of last year we had an electrical fire,” Davy said. “It started out between it being a 30-year-old wooden building with the water and the smoke and the flame damage, the more we got into it the more we realized it was just time for an overhaul.”

For decades, Waterman’s had a distinct style. The exterior and interior featured a lot of wood, lighting was soft and all-you-can-eat crabs were a favorite. The new restaurant will keep the soul of the original, Davy promised, but looks and feels fresher.

“We came up with a design to try to modernize it so we could be here another 30 years. Rather than try to put it back together, we decided to take a step in a different direction a little bit,” he said. “When you came in before, it was a lot more of a crab house feel. It had the wood everywhere, wooden tables and the old wood booths that had been here 30 years and of course all of that stuff got ruined.”

Those wooden tables have been replaced with sleek stainless steel, the furniture has been upgraded and everything is more colorful and vivid. Seascape-inspired art lines the walls, which are much brighter and better lit than before. A new banquet room was installed on Waterman’s second floor, which was previously only used for overflow seating.

“We renovated the upstairs and put in a banquet room so now we can do private parties,” said Davy. “Most of the time the upstairs sat empty seven or eight months out of the year, so we wanted to utilize that space so we made sure we can do between 70 and 100 people up in a banquet room and rent that out for different events.”

The upstairs sports bar has also seen some re-design with an outside entrance added to make coming and going easier.

From a culinary angle, the menu has been modernized a bit as well. Old favorites like all-you-can-eat crabs, steamed shrimp and fried chicken aren’t going anywhere, but Waterman’s will be focusing on new entrees and more steamed and boiled options for people who are looking for a healthier dining experience.

“People are about portion control and fresh food. That’s just kind of the trend,” Davy said. “So we’re trying to do some more offerings.”

There should be something at Waterman’s now for returning life-long customers and those who have never visited before, he continued.

“We made the conscious effort to say, ‘okay, what can we do to be more competitive?’” he said. “There are a lot of people doing a lot of stuff right and if you don’t change and keep up with trends your clientele tends to go away.”

It was tough to give up on an entire year of business during renovations, admitted Davy, but in the long-term should be worth it. Waterman’s has been updated in a big way and is now ready for the next 30 years of customers. Davy believes it’s coming at a good time, with West Ocean City becoming “its own little entity” outside of Ocean City’s shadow.

As the community continues to evolve, Davy is confident that the newly renovated Waterman’s will carry on as a popular seafood destination in West Ocean City. Between the carry-out seafood market, sports bar, restaurant and new banquet room, he’s predicting a busy first year back that will be highlighted on Friday, Nov. 1 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony organized by the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.

 

Lower Shore Teams Earn High Seeds In States

BERLIN- The state playoffs brackets were announced this week with Decatur and many of the Lower Shore fall sports teams earning high seeds in their respective tournaments. In the newly configured 3A-South region, Section I, Decatur’s boys’ varsity soccer team earned a number-two seed and a first-round bye. The Seahawks will face third-seeded Northeast at home next Tuesday in its … Continue reading

Worcester Prep Students Named Commended Students In 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program

Worcester Preparatory School Headmaster Dr. Barry W. Tull recently announced Lucas Baier, Sara Freund, Claire Stickler and Jamie Welch have been named Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. … Continue reading

Boardwalk Hotel Fire Originated On Ground Floor; Property Owner ‘Grateful’ For OCFD

OCEAN CITY — A local family that has owned and operated the Majestic Hotel for generations is picking up the pieces and moving on this week after a fire last Friday afternoon at the historic establishment. Around mid-day last Friday, a fire broke out at the hotel on 7th Street. The Ocean City Fire Department responded as did crews from … Continue reading

Weekly Guest Bartending Events Helping Charities

BERLIN — The charitable guest bartending season at Burley Oak Brewery is off to a running start, raising roughly $4,400 for two different non-profits in its first two weeks. A check for $1,953 was presented to the first of those special charities, the American Cancer Society (ACS), this week for breast cancer awareness month. Burley Oak began its guest bartending … Continue reading

Second Graders At OC Elementary Create Character Book Reports

Second graders in Mrs. Fogle’s class at Ocean City Elementary created character book reports. Students were to pick a character from a picture book and describe the character traits of that character. After describing what that character was like, students were to be creative and create that character. Pictured above are Parker Intrieri, Ella Katna, Dane VanDornick and Sophia Law.

Rackliffe House Trust Fundraising Dinner Held At Atlantic Hotel

The Rackliffe House Trust fundraising dinner, held Sunday, Oct. 13, welcomed 55 guests to the Atlantic Hotel private dining room for “A Revolutionary Event: Dinner with the Rackliffes.”  Pictured, from left, are Rackliffe House Vice President Linda Ayres, Rackliffe House Trust supporters Mary and Dan Moore and Rackliffe House Trust Board member Janet Cherrix. This year’s event, the third held since 2009, raised nearly … Continue reading

Star Charities Holds Successful Fundraiser For Wounded Veterans

Star Charities held a well-attended and successful fundraiser to benefit wounded veterans in Maryland. On Oct. 18, a donation of $1,700, representing event proceeds, was presented in the Ocean Pines Library.  Pictured, from left, are Star Charities volunteers Peg Rumburg and Lee Tilghman, Star Charities President Anna Foultz, Past Maryland State Commander of the VFW Jack Lewis, Commander of VFW Post #197 in … Continue reading