Smokehouse Puts Focus On Homemade Grub Alternatives

Smokehouse Puts Focus On Homemade Grub Alternatives

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City area is perhaps best known for its seafood restaurants, but in a crowded field the 28th Street Pit-N-Pub wants to offer a heartier alternative with its made-from-scratch smokehouse style grub.

Having recently passed the four-year mark, co-owners Steve Hoffman and Mike Horsey feel that they are finally becoming established and have put down roots that can keep the barbeque joint fresh for the next few decades.

Offering classics like ribs and chili, Pit-N-Pub approaches their menu with a real charcoal philosophy.

“If you’re looking for something different, everybody has a crab cake for the most part but there are really no other smokehouses,” said Hoffman. “Nobody is doing the brisket, pork, barbeque chicken. We do a smoked meatloaf, smoked turkey, smoked chicken. Our wings are smoked, so everything is just a little bit different than your run-of-the-mill.”

The menu hasn’t changed much since the pub opened in May of 2010. There’s never been much reason to fix what isn’t broken, according to Horsey. There is some rotation to the food, though, and additions are made whenever a demand is noticed. This year Pit and Pub has added some traditional Italian dishes to the list.

“A little tweak here and there to the menu adding different things like pizzas and Stromboli we started this year, some cheesesteaks, nothing too crazy,” said Horsey.

Pit-N-Pub puts its own spin on the food, creating their own pizza sauce which, like most of their menu, is smoked to add a distinct flavor. While barbeque is the pub’s bread and butter, seafood, like clam strips, shrimp and crab cakes, is also feature. There’s a little something of everything including a few surprises. Chicken pot pies, for example, aren’t often associated with Ocean City. But the dish has been popular enough at the pub that Hoffman and Horsey decided not only to sell it during the winter but to include it on the summer menu, where it has proven a popular alternative to the usual surf and turf.

Everything comes down to maintaining a high level of quality across the board.

“Everything that we do is pretty much homemade and made from scratch, nothing frozen,” said Hoffman. “We keep the menu small so that we can do it all by hand. We’re just not opening cans or pulling stuff out of the freezer.”

It seems to be paying off as both owners feel that the pub is on track to get past the standard three- to five-year, sink-or-swim period that all new restaurants go through. It hasn’t hurt that Hoffman and Horsey have made their spot a home for Baltimore sports fans.

“We’re both Baltimore boys so this is our home away from home. We tried to make it a Baltimore bar. It works out good with a Pittsburgh bar across the street,” said Horsey, alluding to nearby Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon, which is Ocean City’s unofficial Steelers bar.

Both the Ravens and the Orioles have had some strong seasons since Pit-N- Pub opened up in 2010, added Hoffman. The solid play on baseball and football fields has drummed up interest that has helped provide the bar with some extra business during the lean Ocean City offseason. Pit-N-Pub even plays host to Ravens’ Roost 58 and has more than a little purple pride.

Pit-N-Pub is “turning the corner” on its starting years and is looking forward to many more. Expansion isn’t out of the question, but neither Hoffman nor Horsey said there are any plans in the works right now. The focus is on continuing to grow at the rate that has held for their first four years, said Hoffman.

To learn more about the smokehouse, visit or like them on Facebook at 28th St. Pit-n-Pub.