OCEAN CITY – Twining’s Lobster Shanty, located bayside on Route 54, is celebrating its first anniversary this weekend and it hasn’t skipped a beat since the day it opened.
Owners David and Janet Twining opened the Lobster Shanty around the same time they were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their first restaurant, Nantuckets, which is located on Route 1.
“We opened the shanty a year ago on July 2,” Janet Twining said. “My husband and I both have New England backgrounds and felt that this area would welcome a New England classic fare and the opportunity came up for this beautiful piece of property on the marsh in Fenwick Island, so we decided to take a tired old place and make it happy.”
Having opened the Lobster Shanty in July the Twinings had no choice but to dive right in while the summer was hot and they say the restaurant’s success hasn’t slowed down since.
“We hit the ground running and haven’t stopped,” Janet Twining said. “It has been very exciting from day one.”
According to the Twinings, the Lobster Shanty is “a funky little place on the edge of town.” The property is surrounded by marsh land, perfect for bird watchers and an ideal spot to view a magical sunset.
The establishment includes indoor dining, an indoor sunset bar and outdoor dining.
“All of the New England classic fare is cooked around lobsters and we thought that being from New England and with our other restaurant … we do a lobster fare and don’t have to compete with the local crab people and have something different for tourists,” David Twining said.
The couple feels a classic New England fare is what they do best. The Lobster Shanty’s menu includes its famous chowder by the mug, a variety of salads, seafood from the steamer or grilled, burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, hand cut natural beef, a children’s menu and much more.
According to David Twining, since the day the Lobster Shanty opened, they have sold “lots of lobsters, lots and lots of lobsters”. He added that any size lobster can be ordered, just call ahead.
The shanty has a daily happy hour from noon until 6 p.m. The raw bar items, such as shrimp and mussels, are included as well as drink specials.
Despite the fact that the Twinings’ two restaurants are based off a New England theme, the Lobster Shanty and Nantuckets have two completely different identities. Nantuckets is a white table cloth, fine dining establishment, while the shanty includes a lighter fare and more casual atmosphere.
“They’re like apples and oranges… this [Lobster Shanty] is fun and vivacious,” David Twining said.
David Twining said that 21 years ago, when the couple first opened Nantuckets he couldn’t have imagined opening a second restaurant but when the opportunity arose and the location being so perfect, they couldn’t resist.
In 1990, the couple followed their instinct in going against the crowd and opened a New England themed restaurant rather than a Maryland-style crab and seafood house.
In May of 2010, the Twinings described the future Lobster Shanty as an “old fisherman’s shack” with intricate wooden décor, a warm environment, a seafood market, a steamer and raw bar, as well as fresh lobster being steamed on the spot for customers, in addition to a full dinner menu, and today that is exactly what the Lobster Shanty has become.
The Lobster Shanty opens seven days a week at noon.
“We love the eastern shore and the people of Ocean City and southern Delaware,” David Twining said. “We would like to continue to keep serving them for another 20 years.”