New Year Expected To Bring New Businesses To Berlin

New Year Expected To Bring New Businesses To Berlin
Development on a new business headquarters for Plak That is expected to begin this year. Above, owner Wyatt Harrison, right, and Production Manager Reeves Dark are pictured. Submitted Photo

BERLIN – The new year is expected to bring several new businesses to downtown Berlin.

In 2023, the town is set to welcome a slate of new enterprises, including a brewery, distillery, restaurant and printing business.

“We support local here, especially in Berlin, and it shows,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “That’s why businesses want to be here.”

Roadie Joe’s, a well-known Salisbury eatery, is set to open a Berlin location later  this month in the space formerly occupied by Crush-N-Crab. Owner Jeremy Norton said the new location was just waiting on final health department approvals before opening.

“We’re going to everything just like Salisbury,” he said. “We’re going to have fresh daily specials that we’ll be changing all the time.”

Norton said the business already did a significant amount of catering in Berlin and a location in the town made sense.

“The notion of America’s Coolest Small Town was an allure to us,” Norton said, adding that Chef Jason Myers was also a Berlin native. “It was really a good opportunity for us to take an older restaurant and make it our own.”

Another locally known eatery, The Street Kitchen, will partner with brewer Adam Davis to open in the former location of Broad Street Station. Davis, who has served as head brewer at Burley Oak Brewing for many years, is opening his own brewery at 115 Broad St. The Street Kitchen, in what will be its first non-mobile location, will serve food in the space.

“They’re going to open before the brewery does,” Wells said.

On Old Ocean City Boulevard, Forgotten 50 Distilling should open by St. Patrick’s Day, according to connections. The distillery is the joint effort of Eric Fiori, Cody Miller and Jeff Phillips. Miller, after years of working at Seacrets Distilling Company, wanted to establish his own operation when he saw that Fiori was looking to find a use for the former Chesapeake Utilities property he’d purchased. They started renovating the building, which was originally constructed in the 1940s as a Plymouth dealership, in 2020. Midway through the renovations, Miller and Fiori decided food would complement the distillery. They’ve partnered with Jeff Phillips, the grandson of Brice and Shirley Phillips, to craft a food element for Forgotten 50.

While there have been various challenges throughout the renovation process, Fiori said this week he was hopeful the distillery could be open by St. Patrick’s Day if not sooner.

Just down the street, Wyatt Harrison, owner of Plak That, purchased two acres near the railroad tracks. Harrison plans to build a new Plak That headquarters as well as a mixed-use project.

“We’ve outgrown the space we’re in and we don’t have the opportunity to expand here,” Harrison said of Plak That’s current Sunset Avenue location.

He spent months looking at commercial properties before settling on the one in Berlin.

“Who doesn’t want to be in Berlin?” he said.

Harrison said the B-2 zoning of the Old Ocean City parcel was what caught his interest.

“We can put our business there, with its small bit of retail and production, and with it being B-2, it gives us other opportunities,” he said.

While he’s not yet sure what else he’ll construct on the site, he says he wants to create something that will complement the area. He added that he’ll focus on developing the west side of the site first, as the future of Heron Park, which is on the other side of the site, remains unknown at this point.

Harrison, who settled on the property just last week, said he doesn’t have any formal plans yet but is hoping to get things moving as soon as possible.

“I’m really hoping we are at least shovels in the ground in 2023,” he said.

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.