BERLIN – The owner of one long-time seafood favorite has taken over another in West Ocean City as the 2015 season approaches.
Captain’s Galley, a fixture on the Ocean City commercial harbor since the 1980s, has been taken over by Joe White, owner of the Shrimp Boat. Though the restaurant has changed hands, customers will notice few differences at the popular eatery long owned by Dew Hanson and family.
“Dew wanted someone local to buy it,” White said. “That was important to him. It’s going to stay Captain’s Galley.”
White, who owns a seafood wholesale company and operates the Shrimp Boat on Route 611, said he had planned to expand eventually but decided to do it now when he was approached by Hanson.
“He didn’t want to see a Red Lobster or something come in,” White said.
And so White took over Captain’s Galley. While he is new to the operation, the employees working under him are not. The same people who have worked at Captain’s Galley for years will again be waiting on customers and staffing the kitchen.
“We have great people who come back year after year,” White said.
After receiving approval from the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners in April, White does plan to expand the entertainment on the restaurant’s outside deck.
“I’m interested in promoting the dock bar,” he said.
As for the menu, the only change customers will see is the addition of a selection of five “fresh catch” items that will change based on availability. Because he’s interested in featuring local products, White has also expanded the restaurant’s selection of after-dinner offerings made nearby at Desserts by Rita.
“We’re going very local,” White said.
Though the addition of a third business is sure to mean a busy summer for White, he says he’s confident he’ll be able to manage the trio of seafood-centered enterprises. After all, he explained, the primary reason he started the wholesale company was to better supply the Shrimp Boat. Now that company will be able to supply both the Shrimp Boat and Captain’s Galley.
“Even when I don’t source it myself, it’s through the network [of wholesalers] I work with,” he said. “We’re not trying to be a big fish in that market. We just want to be fresh.”
White also said that because the Shrimp Boat saw most of its business before 8 p.m., he would be able to work there during the day and spend his nights at Captain’s Galley.
As business begins to pick up with the approach of summer, White says he just wants his customers to know he’s committed to providing customers with quality dishes, whether they are premier entrees or little side items.
“If it doesn’t work right, we’re not going to do it,” he said.
Former owner Dew Hanson bought the land that would eventually become the Captain’s Galley back in 1984. The site was formerly home to a one-story restaurant known as “The Mast.” Five years later, a major expansion of the building was financed and the larger, two-story edifice began serving customers.