Ocean City Today

Annapolis eateries aim to upscale OC dining experience

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 23, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Owners Lisa and Brian Bolter smile for a photo at DRY 85 on 48th Street Monday afternoon.

(Nov. 24, 2017) Owners Lisa and Brian Bolter have expanded their highly-rated Annapolis restaurants, Red Red Wine Bar and DRY 85, to 48th Street in Ocean City this offseason.

“My wife and I have had a home in the area for the last 15 years and we recognized the changing climate of Ocean City and how it’s become more of a year-round destination,” Brian Bolter said. “We also saw the increased appetite for elevated drinking and dining experiences in town.”

DRY 85 opens its doors to the public today, Friday, at 11 a.m. debuting its craft beers, whiskey cocktails and gourmet comfort foods with 125 indoor seats. A huge garage door opens up during the warmer months and there will also be about 40 outdoor seats available.

The menu features a variety of half-pound burgers, which can be served with DRY 85’s popular truffle fries. Diners can also try out the pork osso bucco entrée, decide on a rack of ribs or create-your-own charcuterie board.

“One of our favorite menu items is a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne and the truffle fries combination,” Bolter said. “DRY 85 is more craft beers and cocktails to rock and roll and whiskey.”

In the future, DRY 85 plans to offer its “world-famous Bacon Brunch” on Saturdays and Sundays.

The casual restaurant’s name is a nod to the prohibition history in Washington D.C. and the 85 days it took to repeal the Sheppard Act, which left residents of the capital city the only ones unable to legally drink in the United States after the 21st Amendment was passed in 1933.

“We hope to offer exceptional experience in a causal and laid back atmosphere,” Bolter said. “Dry 85 is a nod and wink to prohibition history.”

The bar also has several television screens and its location in Annapolis has been named “A Top Bourbon Bar in America” by the Bourbon Review magazine. Twelve craft beers, most of which are brewed in Maryland, are on tap, including RAR, Union, Flying Dog and Rubber Soul.

“It is local first, then regional and they are all American craft beers,” Bolter sad. “We are heavy in Maryland beer and we will rotate the 12 taps. There will be barrel bourbon beers.”

Bolter describes the restaurant atmosphere as “industrial, lofty and chic” with a number of custom-created pieces, including the back bar, a 16-seat community table and artwork on the back wall, which was completed by Annapolis artists Jimi Davies and Jeff Huntington.

Antique light fixtures align the walls, Eastern Shore tool boxes from the 1940s are used by the bartenders and the front door was once the freight elevator door at the original Natty Boh brewery in Baltimore, Bolter said.

Next door at the Red Red Wine Bar, which is slated to open on Dec. 1, guests will have 125 bottled wines to choose from, with 35 available by the glass. Four beers and four wines are on tap.

“They are two separate restaurants with the same demographic, but different vibes,” Bolter said. “The wine bar is causal with softer seating. It is wine-focused with something for everyone.”

The “coastal cuisine” menu offers multiple seafood choices, hand-tossed pizzas, sandwiches, a couple of entrées and cheese boards. The couple plans to add a continental breakfast in the future and the restaurant will have an expresso machine.

The Red Red Wine Bar has 90 indoor seats, with many built into the wall and custom-made, in addition to hand-painted tiles and an antique door, which was found in Baltimore and dates to the 1900s in India. About 40 seats will be available outdoors during the season.

“They aren’t pubs, stuffy or have linen table cloths,” Bolter said. “You would be comfortable in a suit or flip flops. They are both elevated dining and drinking experiences.”

The Bolters opened the Red Red Wine Bar in 2011, followed by DRY 85 on New Year’s Day 2014 in Annapolis. Their family loves Ocean City, their kids have grown up in the town and they had been looking at the 4,600-square-foot building on 48th Street for the last five years.

“It is perfect for two restaurants,” Brian Bolter said. “We are excited to bring more options for people. Dining and drinking in a unique, interesting and casual way.”

The restaurants are located adjacent to each other on 48th Street near the Gateway Grand. There are 50 parking spaces in the lot in addition to spots on the street.

“People told us we were crazy for opening in the winter,” Bolter said. “We couldn’t control the timing; wanted to be open as soon as we could and are happy to be catching the holiday season. We also felt opening in the winter will give locals time to get to know us and give us the opportunity to meet new friends as well.”

Currently, DRY 85 is open, year-round, every day at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. For more information, go to www.dry85.com or call 443-664-8989.

The Red Red Wine Bar is slated to open on Dec. 1. For more information, go to www.redredwinebar.com or call 443-664-6801.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.