WEST OCEAN CITY – A local man with decades of experience in the restaurant and bar industry is bringing Caribbean flare and flavor to West Ocean City.
Located at the Alamo Motel complex in West Ocean City, Caribbean Joe’s Bar and Grille features an assortment of drinks, fresh food and an atmosphere that brings the Caribbean experience to locals and visitors alike.
Last fall, Joe Albero partnered with property owner Mark Odachowski to open a new restaurant on the site.
After hearing Odachowski’s vision for the complex, Albero said he quickly got to work renovating the existing restaurant space.
“Seventy-four commercial dumpsters were brought in and we removed 100%, every single thing on this complex,” he said.
Albero said it took several months to renovate the restaurant and transform the building into a sprawling oasis for patrons to enjoy. Today, Caribbean Joe’s features renovated dining areas, kitchen and bathrooms, a $30,000 sound system and seven flat-screen TVs, as well as a public pool and pool bar.
“Several restaurateurs told Mark it couldn’t be done, told me it couldn’t be done, and I knew better,” he said. “Everything we’ve done here has been done to a T … We’re proud of it.”
Despite opening its doors in January, Albero said business at Caribbean Joe’s has been good.
“We’re in the black,” he said. “For a business that’s been open for a few months, that’s crazy. The key here was to make this place extremely comfortable for women but not uncomfortable for men. That’s what I did with my other businesses.”
Albero said he is no stranger to the industry. For years, he operated upscale billiard rooms, as well as a restaurant and bar in Crofton.
Albero said popular menu items include a tender pulled pork sandwich, a homemade chicken salad sandwich, handcrafted burgers, burritos and large buffalo wings, to name a few.
Accompanying the menu is a large selection of beer, wine, liquor and mixed drinks. Albero said Caribbean Joe’s specializes in watermelon, pineapple, orange and grapefruit crushes.
“For the pineapple crush, for example, the glass is dipped in honey, we toast coconut and dip the glass in coconut, we add the pineapple crush and top it with a huge chunk of pineapple …,” he said. “They are very refreshing.”
Behind the restaurant, Caribbean Joe’s features a public pool – monitored by certified lifeguards – poolside bar, and space for live entertainment on the weekends. The property also boasts a public volleyball court, horseshoe pits and corn hole games.
Albero said he has plans to renovate existing space behind the facility to include a third bar and another restaurant.
“I love the underdog, and the Alamo is an underdog,” he said. “When you walk into the door, you are going to say ‘wow.’ You are not going to believe what we’ve done to the biggest dump in Worcester County. You’ve got to be crazy to do this, and we’re crazy.”
Caribbean Joe’s Bar and Grille is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and the public pool is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult patronizing Caribbean Joe’s.
For more information, visit the establishment’s Facebook page, or call 443-664-8509. Albero can also be reached at 410-430-5349.