The Bar. Just “The Bar.” You have probably seen this place and walked by it many times. Another subtle hole-in-the-wall drinking establishment. And it is. Like a handful of other spots downtown, this dive also has a good bit of historical significance. Opened in 1945, “The Inlet Lodge” otherwise known as “The Bar,” or “The Bar at the Inlet,” is the first bar to ever have been erected on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Across the way from the Life Saving Station, and right by the entrance of the Inlet Village, this bar blends in seamlessly.
For three quarters of a century, this bar has been owned and operated by the legendary Trimper family, making it all the more special. During my visit, a Trimper boy was my bartender. I have been visiting this spot for about a year now and I have yet to be disappointed. You get what you pay for at The Bar as wood-paneled walls frame your drinking experience while you sit in a piece of Ocean City History. Considering the Trimpers’ main hustle is their amusement park, this bar has the invaluable advantage of simply not being yet another piece of a hyper-marketed chain restaurant operation. Even when the Bar is fully packed, the staff will make the time for you.
As if it’s not enough to be an almost century-old bar owned by the Trimpers, but they have an incredible craft beer selection! Not just craft beer, but local craft beer. When I was in, the beers on tap hailed from Burley Oak (Berlin), Fin City (Ocean City), Evo (Salisbury) and Tall Tales (Parsonsburg). Pictured above, if I recall correctly, is actually Evo’s famous Lot 3 served in a Burley Oak glass. This kind of local beer in this kind of local bar is a moment to savor (especially considering that Lot 3 is my favorite IPA). As I have been told, and as I have observed, the Trimpers regularly rotate this menu and prioritize local brews.
Drinking at the Bar, one can almost believe that they are a piece of Ocean City history, and their understanding of our beautiful town is no longer limited to a juicy bucket of fries, mind-numbing traffic, and the Eastern Shore horizon that is the Atlantic Ocean. Combining the boardwalk experience with local beer and a historic atmosphere is tragically hard to come by in this region — so consider The Bar your one-stop shop.
Everyone knows this bat. So what does it have to do with the Inlet Lodge? With the exception of the obvious, that it’s the crown jewel of Trimper’s Amusements, this ride was designed by Bill Tracy. If you don’t know who Bill Tracy is, OCHH.net or this article will be happy to inform you. According to boardwalk legend, the Inlet Lodge is where Mr. Tracy would go to drink at the end of his work day building these iconic rides.
Need I say more? I am sure you all understand why the Inlet Lodge is the featured bar in our second episode of BL’s Barhop.