Starting this March, a new downtown bar and grill is adding its unique, beach-friendly flair with an Irish twist to the lineup of bars and restaurants that are on, and just off of, the Ocean City Boardwalk.
The Lucky Anchor is the latest addition in town, taking over the building that previously housed The Alibi Room from 2016-18 on the corner of Baltimore and Wicomico St.
While the space is currently undergoing renovations that won’t be complete for several months, the new bar’s owners, brothers Shaun and Colin O’Donnell, hope to open their doors for a soft opening the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day.
“But if that doesn’t work out, it’ll be St. Patty’s weekend,” Shaun said. “We plan on being open every weekend after that while adding additional days as we get closer to May. The only exception might be if we need a few days for more renovation.”
Shaun describes the Lucky Anchor as “a beach bar you can get a good cocktail at.” The bar itself will be resurfaced and restructured in the business’ renovation process, to allow for better sight lines and a more accessible service area to benefit both bartenders and patrons; drinks served behind the new bar will include beachy cocktails, frozen drinks, and eight beers on tap, including Guinness, when the bar first opens.
The O’Donnells hail from Pennsylvania, but they’re far from strangers to Ocean City. In fact, a handful of items on their food menu were first developed at Sharky’s Paninis and Ice Cream, which they operated for three seasons just a block down the street from their newest culinary venture.
The Lucky Anchor’s menu options will include sandwiches and subs, steamed shrimp and crabby nachos among other more traditional appetizers, and specialty burgers. The restaurant’s grilled cheese menu includes former Sharky’s staples Crabby Carol, Cheesy Pig, Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese, and Ultimate Grilled Cheese.
During their time at Sharky’s, Shaun said, they learned the flow of Ocean City’s spring and summer seasons and how to prepare for the onslaught of people that comes with the summertime.
“Having indoor seating available in The Lucky Anchor will make a huge difference, along with the location being more part of the special event times,” Shaun said.
The owners hope to have the bar and grill operating for 10 months of the year, and to feature live entertainment during the on- and off-seasons. The immediate entertainment schedule will include bands, DJs, and acoustic acts, while trivia nights and possibly even comedy shows will be incorporated in the future.
The comedy shows, which would showcase well-known touring comedians, might first serve as off-season form of entertainment, “because it may disrupt people getting to know us the first year.”
“Our goal is to provide entertainment that Ocean City just doesn’t have right now,” Shaun said. “My 15-plus [years] experience in the comedy business should lend to what we’re trying to do. If people are willing to come out, we’ll bring the shows.”
In addition to the beachy drinks, the unique food options, and the potential for a wide spectrum of entertainment, the Lucky Anchor will also pay homage to the O’Donnell’s Irish roots. It isn’t meant to be an authentic Irish pub, Shaun said, but the Irish flavor is there regardless.
“When you see the logo, you see it’s an Irish bar,” Shaun said. “We’re saying it’s a beach bar with Irish flair, that sort of covers what we’re trying to do.”
The Lucky Anchor will be open for St. Patrick’s Day weekend starting Friday, March 15. The Jameson whiskey will be flowing, and DJ Batman will emcee their party that follows the Ocean City St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday.
In-season, the Lucky Anchor will be open from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. seven days a week.