By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Jack Antwerpen, one of Baltimore’s most familiar faces, is best known for his successful car dealerships but now he has a new business venture.  Ron Matz reports it’s happening in one of the most picturesque places on Maryland’s eastern shore.

The historic and beautiful waterfront town of St. Michaels in Talbot County is home to a new restaurant: The Big Pickle.

Automobile magnate Jack Antwerpen lives in St. Michaels.

“We’re going to bring St. Michaels to another level.  It’s a beautiful, beautiful town.  The people are very friendly,” Antwerpen said.  “St. Michaels is a very unique kind of place.  We have the water, we have wonderful restaurants…and now we have The Big Pickle.”

They gutted a century-old hardware store to make it happen.

“This was a hardware store for over a hundred years.  We hired an architect and we rehabbed the whole building, so we build a new building in the old building,” Antwerpen said.  “This is first class and that’s the only way we do our things.  Our dealership is first class and this restaurant is first class.”

Right now, there are about 12 restaurants in St. Michaels.  The Big Pickle has become the talk of the town.

“St. Michaels is a vibrant dining town.  It’s well-known for its culinary talents and its chefs.  The addition of The Big Pickle has certainly started buzz around the town and we’re all anxiously awaiting its opening,” said Talbot County Director of Tourism Debbie Dodson.

Jack’s wife Dolores gave The Big Pickle its name.

“I named the restaurant after my husband.  I just feel like St. Michaels is coming alive.  it’s a whole new adventure.  I’m very excited; we’re also going to open a bakery across the street,” said Dolores Antwerpen.

“We will serve corned beef, pastrami and all the deli goodies.  Plus, in the evening, we gear it up to real all-American cuisine,” said Jack Antwerpen.

The Big Pickle is located on South Talbot Street and will open its doors Tuesday.

Comments (6)
  1. Doug says:

    Sounds like Dolores is just daydreaming for something Jack can’t give her.
    What a pathetic name for a restaurant.
    Why not, “The Huge Throbbing Member”,or
    was that name already taken.

  2. Larry Young says:

    Doug: You may not appreciate what Jack and Dolores are doing for us here in St Michaels, but we are looking forward to The Big Pickle’s opening. Jack and Dolores are really good neighbors and we are glad they are here on the Eastern Shore.

    Nancy and Larry

    1. Exploitational Bliss says:

      I, for one, am going to spend my vacation money in another town that does not have “a Big Pickle” as its main attraction.
      All the talk about the nice people and the beatiful waterfront will become a thing of the past as Mr. Money Bags swoops in an changes everything good about your small town.
      Better to kick his tires and send him on his way.

  3. Kevin Snelling says:

    Absolute perfection! The staff was fantastic! The Wife and I had such a lovely and relaxing time . Everything was Great–food was superb, service right on time and a Wonderful atmosphere. we highly recommend The Big Pickle!

  4. Eleni says:

    how in the world did poor little st michaels ever manage prior to this family coming in and “saving” them? I’m with exploitational bliss…there goes the neighborhood.

  5. Leslie S says:

    You all suck! Minus the positive feedback. I eat at the pickle at least once a week, service was super friendly, the food was wonderful and delicious, Dolores and Jack are there often and are always approachable and generous… the first time I came Jack sent us fried pickles on the house! They may not be “saving” our small town but any business that draws in more tourism will benefit St. Michael’s in the long run. I hope that the Big Pickle is here to stay!!

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