Construction Continues On Buxbaum Family’s New Dry Dock 28; Restaurant Will Seat 200-Plus

Construction Continues On Buxbaum Family’s New Dry Dock 28; Restaurant Will Seat 200-Plus

OCEAN CITY – A well-known block in Ocean City will look entirely different come this spring as seasoned bar owner is branching out and expanding his offerings.

Doug Buxbaum, owner of Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon, will open Dry Dock 28 – a fast, casual eatery – next door to his bar on Coastal Highway. The goal, he said, is to accommodate the growing number of customers the Salty Dog receives on a yearly basis.

“It’s going to give us the opportunity to do more,” he said.

Plans for Dry Dock 28 began last fall, when the former Pizza Hut adjacent to the Salty Dog closed in September.

Buxbaum said the opportunity was a chance to give customers more space and selection. Since opening the Salty Dog in April of 1999, Buxbaum said he and his wife, Annie, have expanded and renovated their business several times.

“It was frustrating to turn people away,” he said. “It’s not a bad problem, it’s a great problem. But in that time we knew next door might become available down the road. That put us off of entertaining ideas of other locations. So we patiently waited.”

This will be Buxbaum’s first venture in owning and operating a large restaurant, but he said he is up to the challenge.

With inside seating for 191 customers and outside seating for 30 or more, Buxbaum said Dry Dock 28’s capacity is more than double that of the Salty Dog. To accommodate more customers, Buxbaum added that he plans to hire 40-60 more employees.

“I am stepping into something I don’t know,” he joked. “There are a lot of unknowns, but I’m excited about it.”

Unlike the Salty Dog, which is decorated in Pittsburgh Steelers motif, Dry Dock 28 will give customers a taste of the Eastern Shore.

“Next door, we are providing another choice for the customer,” he said. “We are going with a different theme. Western Pennsylvania has treated us well and I will never regret it. But sometimes if you enhance or enlarge a choice you are giving, it’s not always better. That is why we wanted to give another venue.”

True to its theme, Dry Dock 28 will serve a variety of food – specialty pizzas, sandwiches, pot pies, steamers and the like – that is more traditional to Eastern Shore cuisine.

3 BUXYS DRY DOCK 28 RENDER 10“It’s something where our thumbprints are now in Ocean City,” Buxbaum said.

Renovations are currently underway to transform Dry Dock 28 into Buxbaum’s vision. A new roof, an outdoor patio, reclaimed wood, decorative boats and space for live music are just a few of the restaurant’s many improvements.

Although Dry Dock 28 and the Salty Dog will remain two separate spaces, Buxbaum said customers will be able to access both entrances from the front and back of the building.

“You are going to be able to dip your toes into each one,” he said.

Although the new restaurant comes with its challenges, Buxbaum said he looks at it as an opportunity to learn new things.

“It’s educational and you have to embrace it,” he said. “If you think you know it all, that’s when you should get out of the business.”

Buxbaum said he and his wife are working tirelessly to open the restaurant by late April or early May, and added they are doing their best to appeal to all of their customers.

“If you are going to do it, you have to do it well,” he said. “We have one chance. Not only is the customer more demanding, but they are also less forgiving. If you have great service, you give out a quality product and you are price-conscious, I think the customer will leave satisfied. We are going to experience our ups and downs with it, but we hope to stay the course.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.