Turtle Celebrating 20 Years In West Ocean City On Sunday

Turtle Celebrating 20 Years In West Ocean City On Sunday
“When I first came out here, people thought I was nuts,” said owner Tommy Dickerson of opening the restaurant and bar in West Ocean City in January of 1999. Photo by Bethany Hooper

WEST OCEAN CITY – When the Greene Turtle first opened at its West Ocean City location, owner Tommy Dickerson recalled the initial skepticism.

“When I first came out here, people thought I was nuts,” he said. “They asked ‘Why would you go so far outside Ocean City?’ But there was a lot of golf business out here and that precipitated the move.”

Dickerson and Steve Pappas purchased The Original Greene Turtle in north Ocean City in 1980. And by 1999, the sports bar had grown to include locations in Fells Point, Laurel, Edgewater and West Ocean City.

“This location opened in January of 1999 and has been here ever since,” Dickerson said.

For Dickerson, who now operates the West Ocean City location, the strategic move was a wise one.

“West Ocean City, I thought, was up and coming, maybe a little before the time,” he said. “But I would rather be here earlier than later. Now you can see how West Ocean City has grown. There’s a lot of people out here now.”

While business has expanded over the course of 20 years, Dickerson said Greene Turtle West maintains the concept of being the neighborhood sports bar. He noted that customers will often see familiar faces, as many of his employees – including Nina Williams and managers Chad and Kelly Rogers – have been at the West Ocean City location for many of the 20 years.

“I’ve had some employees that have been here since the beginning,” he said. “We’ve kept a lot of key people. Nothing could be done without them.”

But the community mentality does not stop there, Dickerson added. Like its flagship bar in north Ocean City, he said Greene Turtle West also lends its support to local youth sports teams and those in need.

“We’ve sponsored a lot of girls and boys teams, Steve and I both,” he said. “We’ve also held tournaments and do a lot of fundraisers for Stephen Decatur, Worcester Prep and a lot of individual people.”

Dickerson also noted efforts to support charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Worcester County Humane Society and Worcester County GOLD, which receives contributions through the annual “Hots for Tots” Chili Cookoff at the Greene Turtle.

“We’ve raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for that over the years,” he said.

To celebrate two decades of business, and all of Greene Turtle’s achievements, community members are invited to a 20th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 1-7 p.m.

Dickerson said the celebration will be a tribute to Greene Turtle West’s year of establishment, with drinks from 1999, as well as reduced prices and live bands throughout the weekend.

“Our anniversary parties are big every year, but this one will be exceptionally special,” he said. “We are trying to make a weekend deal out of it.”

On Sunday, DJ BK will be at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle from 1-7 p.m., accompanied by alumni guest bartenders, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, games and giveaways. Dickerson said the celebration is a way to thank the community.

“We want to give something back to the people who supported us over the years,” he said. “That’s why we do this, to celebrate 20 years of being here for the people and them being here for us.”

For more information on the 20th anniversary celebration, visit the West Ocean City Greene Turtle website or Facebook page, or call 410-213-1500.

“I want to thank the people of the community for 20 years of patronage,” he said. “We hope to be here in the years to come.”

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.