West OC Redevelopment Plans Move Forward

WEST OCEAN CITY – The connections of Mad Fish are now planning an open-air restaurant built with shipping containers to replace the restaurant destroyed by fire last year.

On Wednesday, the Worcester County Technical Review Committee approved Mad Fish plans for an 11,302-square-foot facility made of shipping containers. The unique setup will be used to serve food, drinks and ice cream and will offer outdoor seating.

“It’s a great new concept,” attorney Hugh Cropper said. “It’ll be a lot of open area that’ll provide opportunities for social distancing. It’ll be a great complement to the West Ocean City Harbor.”

The committee shared minor concerns with representatives of Mad Fish during a teleconference Wednesday. County staff said the project was being treated as a minor site plan because its size was based on wall-to-wall area and that as such it would not need to go to the planning commission for further review.

“That’s a big help,” architect Keith Iott said.

When asked if the restaurant was abandoning its previous plans submitted earlier this year, Iott said it was not.

“Our intention was to treat this as a first phase so as not to lose the prior approval,” he said.

The committee granted the plan preliminary approval and said final approval would come once all staff comments were addressed. Cropper said Mad Fish owner Cole Taustin was anxious to get moving on the project, which he believed would prove popular with the public.

“It’ll be a great attraction,” Cropper said, adding that the restaurant would continue to accept boat traffic and would remain a docking location for the Alyosha, a sailboat offering tours of the local waterways.

The technical review committee on Wednesday also approved plans for a 1,755-square-foot addition to Crabs to Go.

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.