Ocean City's oldest restaurant celebrates 75 years of success
It’s not unusual for seaside communities to have almost as many seafood restaurants as there are fish in the bay, but in these parts, the unequivocal granddaddy of them all is Captain Bill Bunting’s Angler. At 75 years and counting, The Angler is the longest-running continuously owned-and-operated family restaurant in the Ocean City area. But achieving such a venerated status requires more than just the fresh fish you’ll find there on a daily basis; it requires some equally fresh thinking.
It all started when the Bunting family was issued Ocean City’s first dock-building permit, in 1927. It soon became a favorite local relaxation spot, with pleasant company as the only thing to match the serene views of the bay. In 1937, when William Bunting and wife Louise started selling homemade pies and serving meals (especially 5 a.m. breakfasts) to hungry fishermen in the 20’ x 20’ structure they’d built adjacent to the Bunting dock, the seeds of a restaurant were sown.
Three-quarters of a century and five generations later, The Angler restaurant is bigger and better than ever. Open May to September, owners Jayne and Julie Bunting have consciously evolved the operation over the years so that today it is not just an eatery but a destination.
The Angler’s food offerings include both light fare and full servings for breakfast, lunch and dinner either indoors or on Ocean City’s first bayfront deck. The views are incomparable, with the beautiful Assawomen Bay serving as host for scores of vessels as they cruise under the Route 50 Bridge. The 250-seat establishment also offers a robust happy hour and live entertainment in the evening to punctuate the spectacular sunset views.
If all that weren’t spirit-lifting enough, the Talbot St. hotspot is also the launch pad for an array of water-sport activities, including the OC Rocket speedboat, OC parasailing, jet-skiing and Happy Hooker bay-fishing. The marina’s mainstay is The Angler Partyboat’s daily offshore bottom-fishing and the renowned after dinner cruises.
“Even though it’s been 75 years since my family started this business,” offered Jayne Bunting, “my sister Julie and I like to keep things really fresh around here — both in the kitchen and out.”
THE ANGLER, 410-289-7424
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