Ocean City Today

Harborside Bar and Grill rings in 25 years in WOC

By Kara Hallissey | Mar 22, 2018
Photo by: Kara Hallissey According to the owners, Harborside Bar and Grille in West Ocean City would not be celebrating 25 years without their employees’ dedication, pictured, from left are owner Chris Wall, Lauren Rolleston, owner Lloyd Whitehead, Sarah Todd and Chris McKenzie.

(March 23, 2018) Chris Wall and Lloyd Whitehead, owners of West Ocean City’s popular Harborside Bar and Grill, are celebrating 25 years in operation with a party from open to close on Sunday, March 25.

Attendees can enjoy happy hour food and drink specials. Door prizes, including gift cards and T-shirts, will be given away throughout the event. There will also be a pig and bull roast.

“We are celebrating our 25th on the 25th,” Wall said. “There will be pulled pork, smoked beef and Cajun-smoked beef with all the fixings. I haven’t seen the anniversary T-shirt yet. Our managers have planned up a surprise and they will be for sale at the event.”

DJ Billy T will provide music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by Opposite Directions’ Pickup Pickin’ Party from 2-6 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring along their own instruments and jam out with the duo.

Billy T will spin the tunes during breaks, emcee, and finish out the party playing music from 6 p.m. until close.

“We have lasted this long because of our staff,” Wall said. “The staff of the past, present and future. We have been fortunate to work with a lot of great people.”

Wall and Whitehead met in seventh grade at Worcester Preparatory School (then Worcester Country School). Harborside Bar and Grill did not come to fruition until several years after graduation, when fate stepped in during the summer of 1992.

“Lloyd had finished college and wasn’t sure what he wanted to do,” Wall said. “I planned on attending school and had stopped in Pickle’s Pub to play foosball while I waited for my clothes to dry [at a nearby laundromat]. Lloyd and I were going to BJ’s [on the Water] deck party.”

Their plans changed when local real estate agent and friend Paul Carlotta, Jr. walked in and asked if they wanted to buy a bar.

“We ended up going to the Stumblin’ Inn for happy hour instead,” Wall said.

Carlotta, Wall and Whitehead decided to take on the business together and signed their lease on March 29, 1993. They opened for business a few days later, at 3 p.m., on April 1.

“Anything we couldn’t scrub clean, we painted over,” Wall said.

Wall and Whitehead bought out Carlotta’s share in 1995 — the same year their famous Orange Crushes were created.

“We got the fresh-squeezed juice idea from our friends at the Bearded Clam and purchased juicers in 1994,” Wall said. “In 1995, orange-flavored vodka became available and some was left in the outside bar on a cold October day. We decided to put it to good use, added fresh-squeezed juice and mixed drinks. We taste tested and picked our favorites to put on our drink menu in the summer of 1996. It was the Orange Crush that took off.”

The waterfront bar and restaurant has 18 boat slips and a large menu with a number of fresh seafood dishes, in addition to steaks and burgers.

“We provide what the customers want and they receive good value for their money … good food and service with a friendly staff and a great view of the water,” Whitehead said.

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