Fish Tales’ Harman awarded ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ title

(April 19, 2013) Six Ocean City restaurants were up for awards Monday night during the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s 59th annual McCormick & Company “Star of the Industry” gala in Baltimore, and two brought home prestigious titles.

Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill on 54th Street was a winner in the “Favorite Bar or Tavern” category.

“It’s nice to be honored … I’m tickled to death,” said Macky Stansell, who owns the restaurant on the bay with his wife, Pam. “It’s wonderful. There are a lot of great restaurants in Ocean City and in Maryland.”

Macky’s will celebrate its 20th season in business on 54th Street when it reopens on April 25.

“Just to be [nominated] is an honor and speaks volumes for what our staff has done,” he said. “The location is good and the staff is the best in town. Food is also a big part of the experience, but service is very important.”

Although Macky’s won the “Favorite Bar or Tavern” award, Stansell wants customers to know the establishment is more than just a local watering hole, but a restaurant as well. The Stansells take pride in fact that the restaurant offers top-notch customer service.

The view is also a big reason people come to Macky’s, which sits directly on the bay. Patrons can have lunch or dinner on the restaurant’s beach or in the dining room or bar area.

“The atmosphere is what it’s all about. It’s a wonderful place to be,” Stansell said.

Dead Freddies Island Grill, on 64th Street in Ocean City was a finalist in the “Favorite Bar or Tavern” category, as well.

The final award of the night was presented to the Restaurateur of the Year. Restaurant Association of Maryland members choose the recipient of this award, which went to Fish Tales owner Shawn Harman.

“I was quite surprised. It was very humbling because it’s voted on by your peers,” said Harman, who was accompanied to the gala by his daughter, Devon. “My daughter said she was proud of me.”

Harman said he receives all of the credit, but the restaurant is successful because of the staff, his wife, Donna, who handles front-of-the-house operations, Danielle Berardi, who runs the kitchen and Manager Brandon Hemp, who takes care of the bar aspect of the business.

“It’s great I got the award, but their names should be on it too,” Harman said.

Fish Tales is a family-owned and operated restaurant on the bay at 22nd Street. In 2011, Fish Tales took home the top award in the “Favorite Bar or Tavern” category. The bayside hot spot celebrates 18 years in business this summer.

“Shawn’s mother was actually the first president of our association, so I was thrilled to hear the news,” said Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association. “He has been an extremely active part of Ocean City tourism and our association for many years and he’s always advocating for business issues.

“I was also excited to hear Macky and Pam won. They’ve created a great destination for both visitors and locals and they are so wonderful to our local community. Both winners are certainly deserving recipients.”

The McCormick Cornerstone of the Industry Award was presented to several companies that best illustrate how restaurants are integral parts of the economy and their community. These businesses support communities by creating jobs and financially supporting non-profit groups, schools, scouts and youth sports teams.

The Greene Turtle Franchising Corporation was one of the recipients. It also earned the award in 2009 and 2011.

Wayne Odachowski, managing partner of de Lazy Lizard on the bay at First Street, was a finalist for “Restaurateur of the Year” and the Captain’s Table Restaurant, located on the third floor of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel on 15th Street, between the Boardwalk and Baltimore Avenue, made the short list in the “Favorite Restaurant” category.

Travis Wright, executive chef and owner of Shark on the Harbor on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City, was in the running for “Chef of the Year.”

The dining public had until Feb. 5 to nominate a favorite restaurant, bar, tavern, chef, wine, beverage, craft brew program and food truck for the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s annual awards. Votes were tabulated and on Feb. 12, the association revealed the finalists in each category. The public voted online from Feb. 18 to March 8.

Restaurant Association of Maryland members, not the dining public, choose the recipient of the “Restaurateur of the Year” award.

For the complete list of winners, visit

Fish Tales owner Shawn Harman, second from right, is presented with the Restaurateur of the Year award on Monday. With him, from left, are Larry Wilhelm of Maryland Restaurant & Hospitality Self Insurance Fund; Marshall Weston, Restaurant Association of Maryland president/CEO; and Doc Hayes of Martini’s Restaurant and Lounge, incoming RAM board chairman.
Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Managing Editor Lisa Capitelli, a New York native, entered Salisbury University (then Salisbury State) in the fall of 1998 and graduated in the spring of 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts degree. She majored in communication arts, and minored in art, with concentration on photography. Lisa began her career at Ocean City Today as a staff writer in February 2003. She was promoted to Assistant Editor in August 2011 and Managing Editor in May, 2013. Editorial responsibilities include covering sports — from local high school games, to fishing tournaments and recreation and park programs, the business community and weekly happenings, events and activities.

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