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Ocean City

The Angler debuts Gangplank boat bar

(June 21, 2013) The downpour didn’t put a damper on The Angler restaurant’s launch party for its new boat bar Tuesday, part of its renovations celebrating 75 years of business.

Planning and zoning officials, members of the fire marshal’s office and others who helped make the bar possible attended the debut event, complete with drinks from the boat-shaped bar and a buffet.

“It’s a great entrance to Ocean City,” said Blaine Smith, assistant director of planning for Ocean City, of the bar visible from the Route 50 bridge.

“I love it,” said Gail Lewis, owner of neighboring MR Ducks. “I’m glad to see it in our downtown area.”

JR McGillen of Oliver Builders, who helped construct the bar, gave a more modest appraisal: “It looks like a boat, so we’re kind of happy.”

Angler’s has been in the Bunting family for five generations. To celebrate its 75th year, the family undertook a host of renovations, including the new deck and bar area, a refurbished dining room and the addition of a tower outside the restaurant.

We want to “get people excited to come back and hang out and have fun and enjoy the bar,” co-owner Jayne Kendall said.

Kendall and her sister and co-owner Julie Smith work alongside their children at the restaurant and said their kids are now old enough to let them refocus on entertainment at The Angler.

“They’re excited about the changes,” Kendall said. “This year, Julie’s oldest children are old enough to appreciate it.”

Aside from working at the business, the youngest family members help draw crowds by picking popular music and giving a fresh perspective on the restaurant, she said.

Kendall grew up with some of her local customers, and the tradition has continued as the children’s friends and their families also frequent Angler’s.

“We’re very family-oriented,” Kendall said.

Patrons can enjoy entertainment at Angler’s four nights a week, Thursday through Sunday, over popular dishes like crab imperial or clams casino. Angler’s is also known for bringing the Bahama Mama and Goombay Smash drinks from the Caribbean to Ocean City’s bars, but Kendall said you don’t have to drink to enjoy the atmosphere.

“Everybody can enjoy it, even if they’re not 21,” she said.

Guests at Tuesday’s launch event praised her and Smith for the new additions at the restaurant.

Angler’s has “always been a great landmark,” Smith said. “I really compliment the girls for taking it to the next level.”

In addition to the bar and restaurant, Angler’s offers deep-sea fishing, nature cruises, Jet Ski and boat rentals and high-speed rides aboard the OC Rocket speedboat. Diners who spend $12 on food can enjoy a boat tour after dinner for just $2.

Angler’s is downtown at 312 Talbot St. and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour daily. Call 410-289-7424 for reservations and visit www.angleroc.net for more information and an online menu.

All in the family: Angler’s co-owner, Julie Bunting Smith, front center, stands with daughters Meegan Jayne Smith, front left, and Maura Smith, front right; husband Regan Smith, back left; and son RJ Smith. Julie runs Angler’s restaurant with her sister Jayne Kendall and her family.

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