Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner, and as with every year, when you arrive in Ocean City this year for your annual vacation, the old familiar Boardwalk and beach will be there, but there are going to be some changes. This happens every year, of course, but we thought this year we’d give you a heads up on what to look out for when you arrive.
What Goes Up Must Come Down
Phillips up town in North Ocean City has come down! The old Phillips Seafood House on 141st Street, which has been closed since 2018, was finally razed to the ground this year. Building has yet to start on its replacement, which will be a multi-story condo block with some retail on the first floor.
Phillips Crab House downtown on 21st Street finally closed its doors at the end of last summer after nearly seven decades, millions of served customers, and thousands of employees. It’s the end of an era for many Ocean City visitors. However, it has recently been announced that the owners of Fast Eddies on 118th St have officially taken over operations at the Original Phillips Crab House Building on 21st St, intending to open it as Union Chesapeake Seafood House. They have said in a post “Union Chesapeake Seafood House will not veer far from Bryce and Shirley’s legendary concept. The upstairs will feature an All You Can Eat Seafood, Prime Rib & Blue Crab Buffet! The downstairs will be a full-service restaurant/crab house specializing in the finest Seafood that Maryland has to offer.”
From Phillips Beach Plaza to Margaritaville
Old Phillips Beach Plaza at 13th and 14th streets closed its doors at the end of last season and now looks set to become a Margaritaville hotel, if all the details can be worked out! The new hotel, conference and high end restaurant complex will be 13-stories high, with 265-rooms, a boutique retail space and lots of swimming pools!
Rising from The Embers
The Embers on 23rd street was Ocean City’s first All-You-Can-Eat Seafood & Prime Rib Buffet, but when the pandemic hit, the owners decided this was the perfect time to demolished the old building and transform it into a premier dining, retail, and entertainment destination. The new restaurant should be open this summer.
From BJ’s to the Atlantic Beach House
BJ’s on the Water and Quiet Storm on 75th Street have both been demolished and building has started on the new Atlantic Beach House restaurant due to open this season.
Mad Fish in West Ocean City, burnt down August 2019, but this year, Pier 23 will open in its place at the Ocean City Commercial Harbor. Pier 23 promises to offer a unique experience built out of renovated shipping containers, with elevated street food, craft cocktails and entertainment. Schedule to open this Spring.
From Liquor Store to Dairy Queen
The old Beer, Liquor and Wine Store at the Gold Coast Mall is being pulled apart and put back together again as a Dairy Queen. The liquor store moved last summer just across the parking lot into the former Peebles store. The new Dairy Queen should be open this summer.
Go with the flow like the Jellyfish Festival
The Jellyfish Festival moves from Labor Day Weekend to the weekend of June 4-5. The all-local downtown event promises to excite visitors with live music, extreme sports, craft beer, and a festival shopping village. The festival takes place on the beach at the Caroline Street Stage and will host a craft beer festival on Saturday afternoon, with the music festival all weekend long. Tickets for both the craft beer festival and the music festival can be found here.
New Bar at the Inlet Village
The old Frog Bar, which stood for a long time at the southern tip of the Inlet Village, overlooking the bay towards Assateague Island, was demolished recently, and a new building has gone up in its place. The new Bandits Bar and Grill will now have ownership of the spectacular views towards Assateague. When open, this new building will accommodate a food court concept.
ABC Liquors to be 1,2,3 stories!
The Atlantic Beverage Center at Seacrets is expanding! The new three-story building on the east side of 49th Street should be ready this summer, and when completed, the existing one-story, island-themed liquor store will be demolished.
A New View for Pit N Pub
There’s a new rooftop view coming soon to 28th Street Pit n Pub. Work has been ongoing all winter, and we are all looking forward to our favorite BBQ restaurant with a view!
145th Street Lot
The empty lot in front of St Andrew’s Catholic Church between 144th and 145th Street, and next to the North Ocean City bus terminal, is to acquire a new 59-unit, multi-family townhouse development to be know as Sanibel Seas. Building has just started.
From Clarion Fontainebleau to Ocean City Fontainebleau
It’s the beginning of a new era at one of Ocean City’s oldest and most-recognized hotels. Now called the Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort, the former Clarion announced its sale in February, marking a new dawn on 101st Street. Changes will get underway shortly, but for longtime patrons, management assures that they will still experience everything they have come to value about this great North Ocean City hotel.
Convention Center Improvements
The Ocean City Convention Center has recently gone through some changes, and is now home to a new 15,000-square-foot gallery overlooking the bay along with additional restrooms and meeting rooms, gorgeous views and a beautiful bayfront promenade.
The Cabanas Beach Bar & Grill is Coming! The Cabanas Beach Bar & Grill is Coming!
The old Paul Revere Smorgasbord at the Plim Plaza Hotel has been closed the last couple seasons, but it is now being transformed into the new Cabanas Beach Bar and Grille, due to open this summer.
New Boardwalk – it’s different but it’s the same!
The major re-decking of our much loved Ocean City Boardwalk is has been underway all winter. This first phase is scheduled to be completed by mid-April, depending on weather and other factors, and the second phase is scheduled to take place next offseason.
So there you have it, a few of the new things happening in Ocean City since your last visit. When you return this summer, enjoy the old and the familiar, the businesses and buildings that have been there since you were a child, but remember, like the peninsula it’s built on, Ocean City is an ever changing town, people grow old, businesses change hands, buildings come down, then go back up as something different. But it’s all there for one reason, and one reason only, and that is for your enjoyment, so enjoy our wonderful town, and all that is offers, old and new!