Adolfo’s Finds ‘Perfect Home’ On The Ocean

OCEAN CITY – Adolfo’s Italian Restaurant on the Ocean has moved from the Inlet and has settled into its new home, complete with a beautiful view, in the Beach Plaza Hotel on 13th Street.

Co-Owner Kimberly Griffin first started working at Adolfo’s as a server in 1991 and became the restaurant’s owner 10 years later just a few months before she was married to her husband, David.

The Griffins were initially looking for a new location in West Ocean City with plenty of parking in comparison to their location at the Inlet where they had no parking. Once they caught wind the restaurant space on the hotel’s first floor was available, they took a shot.

“A couple of short questions later and the ball was just rolling,” Griffin said. “We were looking and I think we found a perfect home. It just seems to be a really good fit for the hotel, we are established and they are established, we couldn’t ask for any more of a spectacular view, and it is like our old world charm of Adolfo’s fits right into the old charm here.”

Griffin said they found out about the location last Christmas, by February they were handed the keys and by April 4 Adolfo’s was open for business.

“My core staff … did an amazing job and an amazing amount of work in a very short period of time … in nine days, we had moved a restaurant that had been there for 24 years, up to here, and set up a brand new restaurant. It was incredible.”

An immediate makeover was conducted to fit the space into Adolfo’s “old world charm” theme. Adolfo’s dining room is divided in two by the hotel’s lobby, with each side containing seating and a bar. Plus there is outdoor seating on the hotel’s porch, as well as on the boardwalk level.

All the chairs were re-painted black from white and the cushions were re-covered in three different patterns. All of the chandeliers were rearranged and the wall sconces lamp shades changed. The walls on one side of the restaurant were painted different shades of purple with gold accents.

In a portion of the dining room a landing was built to resemble a veranda surrounded by a fence, and the paint on the walls and the ceiling above sparkles to create the look of water shimmering in the mood light.

“The downtown location had a landing with lattice and it was a lot of people’s favorite place to sit … so even if they’re in the back of the restaurant they can see above and see that great view,” Griffin said.

In the parlor-lounge, the gray walls were repainted gold and glazed to shimmer. A large floor-to-ceiling fireplace was also repainted in different shades of red to bring the traditional look back to life.

Adolfo’s original menu is available plus a few additions, such as jumbo lump crab cakes. The restaurant’s seafood fettuccine alfredo challenge is still in play. Whoever can eat the entire dish receives a T-shirt that says, “I got stuffed like a tamale at Adolfo’s.”

This summer a sampler will be added to the appetizer menu, which includes sliced avocado, jumbo lump crab meat, shrimp, a portion of bruschetta and garlic oil toast.

Adolfo’s is also open for lunch and brunch on Sundays, year-round.

“We have a lot of regulars come back … and we have found that is already happening with new customers here,” Griffin said. “It is really heartwarming. They are so loyal and they are so genuinely happy for us.”

She added that for anybody who misses the old building they can take a walk down nostalgia lane where black and white photographs of the original Adolfo’s are hanging in a hallway at the new location.

A live entertainment schedule is in the works, with performances by Rhonda Apple and Dale Britt on Friday nights as well as occasional appearances by Louis Wright.