By SHANTEE WOODARDS
The Capital of Annapolis
DEALE, Md. (AP) — Skipper’s is closed for renovations, but the seafood buffet and $2 crab specials will remain.
Starting this week, the new operators of Skipper’s Pier Restaurant & Dock Bar will close it so they can make a few cosmetic
changes. But David Rosage and Jessica LeCronier promise that they will reopen May 10 keeping much of the waterfront restaurant the same. Customers are advised to check their website for reservation information for Mother’s Day brunch.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for us,” said Rosage, who is also a volunteer firefighter. “People are worried (about
the change). We tried to throw in a bit of ourselves into it, but keep it at its core.”
The engaged couple is taking over a landmark that has been in the Deale community for more than 25 years. Commonly known as Skipper’s, the restaurant can be reached by land or boat on Rockhold Creek.
Joe Gibson grew up in Deale and remembered his father was a restaurant regular. He hadn’t been there in about a year, but said he is looking forward to seeing what Rosage and LeCronier will bring to the establishment.
“It has a nice outdoor deck and you can go down and eat dinner, and watch the boats go by,” said Gibson, a disc jockey and first vice president of the Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s close to the (Chesapeake) Bay and you’ve got your regulars. Everyone knows everyone (there), which can be a good or bad thing, I guess.”
Skipper’s Pier started out in the 1950s when it was an Oyster Shack. The name and ownership changed several times, and hurricanes even destroyed it twice. John and Raye Price bought the restaurant in 1996.
In 2007, the Prices sold the restaurant property and its 17 boat slips at an auction. John Hiser, owner of the nearby Paradise Marina, and his business partner bought it for $1.7 million. John and Gail Hiser ran it, along with Buzz and Carol Hefti and Ray Greenstreet of Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian.
Rosage became acquainted with Greenstreet and told him about how he and LeCronier wanted to work together. Both were running their own businesses in Pasadena — she is a sous and pastry chef and owner of JLeCakes, while he operates several small businesses known for snowballs, catering and gardening — but that called for long hours apart.
He wanted something that could combine his passion for business and her passion for food, so Greenstreet introduced them to the Hisers.
Now, Rosage and LeCronier are leasing the property. They are redecorating the 250-seat restaurant with a new logo, new floor and paint. They will keep the country theme and seafood buffet on Fridays.
LeCronier will give the menu some dessert additions, like Bananas Foster bread pudding and a 10-layer Smith Island Cake made with chocolate mousse. They hope to hire 25 more employees, in addition to the crew of 75 that is expected to work there over the summer.
The couple has rented their Pasadena home and moved to Deale.
They have also scaled back on their other businesses so they can focus on Skipper’s.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” Rosage said. “We’re putting a lot of time and effort into making it fresh and clean.”
Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://capitalgazette.com
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)