(Aug. 23, 2013) Each day during the summer, there’s much activity taking place on the bay. Now, Ocean City residents and guests can view the action from Marina Deck Restaurant’s new rooftop Wild Pony Bar and open-air dining area.
From the second-floor area, patrons can watch the waves breaking and the wild ponies frolicking on Assateague, the boats and Jet Skis traveling along in the bay and occasionally dolphins swimming by, the Route 50 bridge opening 25 and 55 minutes past every hour and vehicles coming over it into town.
“There’s just so much to watch,” said Marina Deck Owner Dennis Kalchthaler.
Construction of the second-floor bar and dining area began in April. It opened Aug. 2.
Before the addition, Marina Deck, located on Dorchester Street in downtown Ocean City, had seating for about 50 diners on the outdoor deck downstairs. The upstairs area can accommodate approximately 200 customers.
“We needed more outside seating,” Kalchthaler said.
There are about 40 seats around the Wild Pony Bar. The open-air dining area seats approximately 160 and has high-top tables as well as regular tables for patrons. Seating is also available in the two corner gazebos overlooking the bay.
Kalchthaler said the response from diners has been amazing.
“People love the view,” he said. We’ve heard, ‘Wow, this is beautiful’ a lot.”
Kalchthaler describes the rooftop addition as fun, relaxing, laid back, enjoyable and a family-friendly place.
The same menu is available upstairs and downstairs. Some new items, including crab deviled eggs, caprese salad (sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze) and vegetarian delight (portobello mushroom topped with cucumber and tomato) have been added.
Happy hour, featuring $1 off drinks and food specials, is offered daily from 3-6 p.m.
The Wild Pony Bar and rooftop dining area is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
During the expansion, the restaurant’s bathrooms were enlarged and remodeled and a multi-level children’s play area was added. Ninety seats were removed from the restaurant to make room for the children’s area and bathrooms. The restaurant still seats about 200 customers downstairs.
The children’s multi-level play area features about a dozen activities including two slides, two pogo sticks, a stand-and-spin, sit-and-spin, log roll and wave slide/climbing apparatus, which Marina Deck is only the second establishment in the county to have, Kalchthaler said.
Youngsters can enter the play area from inside the restaurant downstairs, or go down a slide which they can access from upstairs.
“If you keep kids happy, families will come back,” Kalchthaler said.
Kalchthaler said a customer told him he overheard a child say,”Wow, this is every kid’s dream,” while looking at the play area.
Kalchthaler plans to add arcade games to the family entertainment area in the near future.
He would also like to work with local schools and organizations and host fundraising events for them in the restaurant and play area.