Crabcake Poolside License Approved

SNOW HILL – County officials agreed to grant a beer, wine and liquor license to the Crabcake Factory for a new location at the Tidelands Caribbean Hotel.

The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) on Wednesday approved a beer, wine and liquor seven-day license for the Crabcake Factory’s Baltimore Avenue location inside the Tidelands Caribbean Hotel.

“The concept is to create Crabcake Factory food service and bring it to the lower Ocean City area,” owner Ron Brooks said.

According to attorney James Almand, Crabcake Factory will bring a focus on food to the previously existing restaurant space inside the hotel.

“The previous license holder had more of a focus on alcohol,” Almand said. “The owner of Tidelands wanted more of a focus on food.”

Crabcake Factory Poolside, as it will be called, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Patrons can be served inside the restaurant, at its interior bar or outside beside the pool. The restaurant will also offer room service to the hotel’s guests. Almand said the restaurant was asking for the board’s permission to offer live acoustic entertainment twice a week.

When asked how involved he would be in the restaurant, Brooks said he lived on the other side of the state but would be at the eatery roughly 10 hours a week. He said Crabcake Factory’s Benny Feehley would be the restaurant’s general manager. Feehley told the board he’d be bringing in several staff members from existing Crabcake Factory locations.

In addition, Crabcake Factory CEO John Brooks, Ron’s brother, will be providing oversight.

“I’m more of a CEO carrying on the brand,” John Brooks said. “We want to continue with the 21 years of Crabcake Factory success. I need to make sure that happens.”

The BLC voted 3-0 to approve the new license and granted the restaurant permission to host live acoustic entertainment twice a week from 4-7 p.m.

On Wednesday the BLC also approved changes at the Ocean City Brewing Company (OCBC). Matt Rankin, the brewery’s general manager, said the company wanted to expand its outside deck and add 15 video arcade games to what is now a waiting room. He also asked for permission to play background music on the outside deck.

Rankin said OCBC wanted to expand the deck to serve more people and wanted to add games to the brewery’s tour waiting room so that children visiting with their parents would have entertainment.

“They always love more things to do,” Rankin said. “Kids seem to need to be plugged in.”

He said OCBC wanted background music outside to combat the traffic sounds.

“We thought it would set a nice ambience,” he said. “Cars and traffic can get to be obtrusive.”

BLC member Marty Pusey pointed out that the restaurant was close to Coastal Highway.

“In order for people to even hear the music it’s going to have to be fairly loud,” she said.

Pusey said the board recently had focused on reducing noise and distraction in the vicinity of Coastal Highway.

Board member Charles Nichols suggested that the deck be outfitted with some sort of see-through barrier such as Plexiglas.

“I think it’d make a nicer environment for your guests,” Pusey agreed.

The BLC voted to approve the deck expansion as long as a see-through barrier at least half an inch thick was installed along the deck. The board also agreed to approve the addition of 10 arcade games and to allow background music until 10 p.m.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.