(July 18, 2014) From crawfish pie and jambalaya to gumbo and other creole cuisine, owner and Chef Barry Reichart is bringing New Orleans flair to Eastern Shore fare at his new Bourbon Street on the Beach.
The 116th restaurant offers upscale dining in a casual atmosphere with the hospitality of any Southern establishment. And in the restaurant business for more than 20 years, Reichart knows Cajun cuisine.
“It’s something quite different for Ocean City,” he said.
That uniqueness is what inspired him to open Reichart’s Mardi Gras, a restaurant in Danville, Pa., in 1994. Two decades later, the eatery is still dishing up its New Orleans-inspired cooking.
Starting with a menu that was about 50 percent Cajun and creole, Reichart now makes about 70 percent of his sales from those dishes, he said.
The move to Ocean City came about when he was considering retirement in the resort he’s been visiting since age 8.
“We came in here, looked around, and decided this was the place,” he said of the 116th Street location behind the tennis courts on Ocean City’s seaside.
Officially opening July 2, Bourbon Street on the Beach has been serving its well-loved dishes inside the Mardi Gras-inspired eatery and on its patio every day since.
The food’s been a hit, Reichart said.
“Every day, people come in that are excited about it and that like it. Eight out of 10 people that come in say they love it,” he said. “Everything’s made from scratch, right down to the homemade ice cream.”
With specialty drinks like the Ragin’ Cajun Bloody Mary, Fat Tuesday Tea and New Orleans’ classic Hurricane and a happy hour from 3-6 p.m. daily, it’s also a spot for customers to come and relax.
“We want people to enjoy it and come to hang out,” said Ana-Leisha Wilson, one of the restaurant’s employees. “We like to have a relationship with our customers.”
Bourbon Street also has plans to feature acoustic guitar sets at its bar, she said.
A longtime visitor to New Orleans, Reichart designed the restaurant’s menu himself. Many of the Ocean City dishes are favorite recipes from his Pennsylvania establishment, he said.
Beside the New Orleans-style dishes, the menu includes prime rib and fillet mignon, crab soup, broiled crab cakes and a variety of chicken dishes.
Bourbon Street on the Beach will be a seasonal business, closing Jan. 1 and reopening St. Patrick’s Day weekend, although Reichart hopes it will eventually become a year-round business.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily on 116th Street on Ocean City’s seaside. It features a happy hour daily from 3-6 p.m. with specials on steamed shrimp and oysters and drinks starting at $2.50.
Visit www.bourbonstreetonthebeach.com or search for “Bourbon Street on the Beach” on Facebook for more information. Call the restaurant at 443-664-2896.