As you drive to the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Wicomico Street, you’ll come across an ocean blue building accompanied by an ocean blue sign reading “Crawl Street Tavern.” Adorned with beachy palm trees on either side of the door, the tavern seems small on the outside, but the inside is something you don’t want to miss!
From 2020 Until Now
Wendy and Tony Dibuo took over Crawl Street Tavern in 2020 then officially bought the restaurant in 2022. The owners of The Cork Bar had seen the property day in and day out. Wendy, a 6th generation of the Trimper family, had a special feeling about the place. When the bar first went up for sale, Wendy did some research and ironically she learned that at one point the place used to be owned by her great-great-great-grandparents, Daniel and Margaret Trimper! Even more research revealed that her grandmother, Matilda, was even born there! It seemed too good to be true with a full circle moment for Wendy and her family history.
Research revealed Wendy and Billy’s grandfather with his partner opened up the bar in 1964. Later it was owned and operated by Wendy & Billy and their parents, Martha and Gordon Wilkins. It is now owned and operated by Martha & Gordon Wilkins’ children Wendy Di Buo and Billy Wilkins.
Being new owners, Tony let Wendy take the reins on the decorating and picking paint colors. She wanted a “feels like home, want everyone to feel like a local, leave happy place.” And that’s exactly what was designed. The small restaurant can hold up to 207 people with 14 tables, bar seating, and other seating in various places including near the pool tables and stage near the back of the bar. While Wendy and Tony take care of the business part, son Thomas works as the bar manager.
A Real Covid Comeback
As mentioned earlier, Wendy and Tony bought the bar in 2020. Opening on St.Patty’s day weekend, the couple knew exactly what was needed for a successful opening. And that it was! The place was packed with everyone sporting their Irish green and emerald beads, while drinking their green beer. Crawl Street Tavern was thriving- for six days anyway. And then the government announced that everything was closing including restaurants and bars- which included Crawl Street Tavern. “I can’t say it wasn’t scary. Everyone was struggling at that time, especially with us opening up a brand new place. However outdoor seating that was allowed weeks later really helped to boost and save our business.” Between The Cork Bar, The Bearded Clam, and Crawl Street Tavern, tables were set up for patrons to dine while masked. And that’s not all! They came for the music, too!
Music on Her Mind
Years before Wendy was in the restaurant business, she was also an avid musician/singer. She knew the importance of music to a community. During Covid, Wendy still booked performers to sing and entertain but during times when people were dining. The 6-9pm crowds came and masked up while listening to good music once again. Everyone came to hang out, listen to music, eat, and were gone by the mandated 10pm.
As one of the only places downtown to serve breakfast, Crawl Street Tavern offers several options that are under $10! With a goal to have affordable pricing for customers, the Dibuo’s goal is for patrons to be able to eat here several times a week without breaking the bank. Some popular plates include eggs and meat platters, creamed chipped beef (which looks delicious), and pancake platters that are only $6.99. Breakfast hours begin at 8am and end at 1pm. If you’d like a mimosa or a bloody mary to start your day, the full bar opens at 9am.
Lunch and Dinner Begin at 11am
The team at Crawl Street Tavern really pride themselves on their food. The crab cakes are top notch, steamed shrimp are cooked to perfection, and the wings- crisp and tasty. If you’re in the mood for a thick juicy burger, you must try their signature charbroiled burgers.
Crawl Street Tavern has an extensive menu with many favorites that people return for. One of their fan favorites is their crab dip that comes in a bread bowl! Now that sounds divine. Other mentionable favorites are the Build Your Own Nachos and Tots. And we can not forget to mention their Maryland Flat Bread which is topped with crab, shrimp, smeared with an Eastern Shore Old Bay base.
Fly Eagles, Fly! Wendy and husband, Tony, are avid Philadelphia sports fans. They will be promoting themselves as a Philadelphia Sports Bar airing all Philly Basketball, Baseball, and of course Football! Crawl street tavern will be offering the NFL Sunday Ticket every Thursday evening and all day on Sunday. Along with showing the games, they will also be offering drink and food specials during the games. If you’re not a Philly fan, don’t worry! You can still come and watch other games (like the Ravens).
What To Look Forward to Here
As summer begins to wind down for other restaurants, things are just picking up here. During the evenings during Ocean’s Calling, Crawl Street Tavern will be one of the only places that patrons can go to after concert hours. Tickets will be available for Stephen Kellogg, who will be kicking off the Ocean’s Calling Festival at Crawl Street Tavern on September 28th. Doors will open at 7:30, tickets are only $25, and they are expected to sell out and fast. The other evenings of the festival, the tavern will host local and regional bands, which drawn enormous crowds on a regular basis. Other performers include Harbor Boys and DJ Magellan during Ocean’s Calling.
Other notable events include comedy nights as well. The next comedy night will be August 27th. And we can’t forget to mention Bike Week music events that will be coming as well. See links for more details.
What Makes Crawl Street Tavern a Must Visit?
“Being on a block filled with family-owned businesses is extremely important to us. Everyone around here wants to bring a family friendly environment with a feel like a local scene.” If you’re in the area and would like a sit down family breakfast, a quick stop before the beach lunch, or a relaxing dinner with great music, Crawl Street Tavern is the place to be.
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