Buxy's Salty Dog/Beach Guide
Ocean City's Original Hometown Tavern and Sports Bar - Buxy's Salty Dog SaloonBy Chris Remmell
As Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon enters it's fourth summer season, I had the opportunity to meet with owner's Doug and Annie Buxbaum and reflect on the growth and success of their business.
Doug Buxbaum, better known in town as "Buxy," is a native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania a small town approximately 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. He first came to Ocean City in 1986, and began working in various local restaurants and bars. He reflects on the time he spent working at places such as the Purple Moose, Brass Balls, Bull on the Beach and Shenanigans and says, "I learned a lot and I think I was able to take a small bit of what I thought was good about these places and bring it into my own business."
Buxy searched for approximately 4 years to find a location to start his own business. He finally settled on the Salty Dog Saloon on 28th Street; this building had a long history starting in the late 70's as Channing's Way, then became the Bayside Pub in the 80's, and later was the Flipside, Sweetwater and finally... the Salty Dog Saloon. According to Buxy, "The location is good because 28th Street has always been home to many seasonal and year round Ocean City residents that can frequent this location. It is obvious that the street has greatly improved and cleaned up over the years, as is true of much of Ocean City."
Once Buxy secured his location, and gave his name to the business, and he quickly embarked on creating the business he always dreamed of. "I have my own mission statement in my head, and I think I've come a long way, but I'm still not finished" What Buxy is referring to is his mission to create a warm friendly atmosphere, where customers can walk in and immediately feel at ease. He has done a tremendous job, as his business quickly took off to become one of Ocean City's newest and upcoming establishments. Buxy has created the ambiance of a hometown bar and restaurant from Western, Pennsylvania. He feels strongly about catering to the visitors from this area which account for approximately 40% of our tourism trade during the summer season.
Whatever the reason, the Buxbaums have put together the right elements to create something unique, and have found a niche of their own in the Ocean City market. The combination of sports, good food at a reasonable price, live entertainment, and creative T-shirt designs all work together to make Buxy's Salty Dog your hometown sports bar.
When I spoke of Buxy's local celebrity status, the couple looked at each other and laughed. Buxy is modest about his local fame and his wife Annie also seems to take it in stride. "I am very gratified to have some many great friends and family here in Ocean City. I am lucky to be able to continue make new friends, and welcome people to Buxy's." He seems to have an innate sense of charisma and personality that immediately makes you feel that you are one of the gang.
The Buxbaums do not take their success lightly. They feel a strong tie to the community which has been so good to them. "We like to be involved and give back," says Annie. One of the local charities they strongly support is Worcester County G.O.L.D.(Giving Others Living Dignity). They hold an annual Golf Tournament called the Iron Head Open to raise proceeds for this charity. Buxy's is also home to the local chapter of O.C.'s Steeler Fan Club, and is a favorite gathering place for Terp's Fans. Throughout the year, Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon is involved in many events such a Chili Cook-off, Parade Floats, and local sports shows which help give its loyal customers a sense of community.
This has also been a banner year for sports in our area. Fans have been able to celebrate and gather at Buxy's for the Raven's superbowl games, and the championship Terp playoffs. This has only helped to further establish Buxy's as a meeting place for locals to watch their favorite sports event on one of the 16 TVs and sports satellites.
The 4 page menu at Buxy's simply offers good food, nice portions and a nice variety to satisfy everyone's tastes. "You won't find tableside Caesar salad here, but I think everyone is satisfied," claims Buxy. In addition to offering heart healthy salads, wraps, and traditional dinner entrees, the menu is also influenced by Buxy's Western Pennsylvania roots. We offer specials reminiscent of the food I grew up such as pierogies." The signature dishes at Buxy's is the ultimate comfort food -- the Best Cheese Steak on the Beach!
Tradition and family are evident at Buxy's. Annie and Buxy both commented on how grateful they are to have such a loyal staff; many have been with them since the beginning in April of 1999. Buxy's mother, referred to as "Mama Buxbaum" on the menu, it the chief financial officer which has also played an important role in the businesses success.
Another important addition came when the Buxbaums gave birth to their first child 9 months ago. They had a beautiful daughter named Bridget. You can see the influence she has had on the business with the availability of bibs and onesies in Buxy's apparel line, plus children's fare on the menu. Being new parents has seemed to give the couple the determination to expand and improve the business constantly.
The Buxbaums are in the process of adding an apparel boutique to house their now famous T-shirt designs, plus new bathrooms. This addition will help to open up the bar and dining area. The walls are filled with sports memorabilia of which many are gifts from friends and customers. "Each item has story behind it," states Buxy. It is these personal touches that bring the theme all together.
If you are looking for an escape from all of the typical beach bar and restaurants, and want to find a place to relax with family and friends I strongly suggest you check out Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon. They are located on 28th Street in Ocean City. You can also visit them on the web at www.buxyssaltydog.com, and check out for yourself the newest T-shirt designs for 2002. For more information, please call them at 410-289-0973.
The Salty Dog: Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon - Where Everybody Knows Your Name, & They're always Glad you Came
by Heather Chance
If you're looking for a guaranteed good time, great food, and fun friends check out Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon on 28th Street and the Bay. Though the saloon has been an Ocean City favorite for over two years, owner Doug Buxbaum has proved his expertise with it's fresh look, delicious food and welcoming personality. "You take it for what it's worth," explained Buxbaum (better known as Buxy) "It's a home town tavern where you can have a lot of fun."
Walking into the Salty Dog one can reminisce about days gone by when the neighborhood would congregate at the corner tavern. With the help of his terrific staff including Sam Tomsholtis and Ryan Kinsey, people smile at you when you walk in the door, they know your name, and if they don't they're sure to soon.
The Salty Dog staff is having a blast; you "feel" it and are wrapped in it. You can't help having a great time yourself. "It's a lot of fun here," said our waitress Amy Keiser, who has been working at the Salty Dog since December. Amy has had several waiting jobs along the highway and rates her employment at the saloon as one of the best she's had.
Involved in the restaurant and bar business for 17 years, Buxy has enjoyed working and learning from the town's venerable bars like Brass Balls, Bull on the Beach, The Purple Moose Saloon, and Shenanigan's. After years of hard work, he was confident and inspired to make a move and open Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon. "Friendly service, customer atmosphere and price friendly," with a menu consisting of items "a cut above bar food," is how Buxy describes his establishment which will be celebrating it's third year anniversary this July. On Monday evening my friend and I enjoyed the food and friends. Kicking back at one of Buxy's roomy tables next to a large window we immersed ourselves in the cozy, laid back atmosphere that the saloon offers.
For a starter we shared a popular "kickstarter" Shrimpjammers. Five gulf shrimp deep fried and stuffed with creamy monterray jack cheese served with cocktail sauce for dipping. This was the perfect way to start as my friend and I battled it out for the last yummy bite. Unsure what to order next, my dinner companion took Amy's advice on the catch of the day, Tuna "fresh off the boat," as Buxy described. Proving to be an excellent special, flavorful, juicy and cooked to perfection, you just couldn't ask for a more "melt in your mouth" taste of tuna. Accompanied by a large baked potato with sour cream and a heaping portion of corn, this was an unforgettable entree. As for myself, I chose one of the saloon's most popular entrees, the Chicken Chespeake. I was blown away at the enormous size as Amy placed it in front of me. Two gigantic chicken breasts smothered with delicious homemade Crab Imperial, also served with a tasty baked potato and corn, I was forced to take a doggy bag home with me as I was bulging at the seams due to the astounding portions of this tremendous meal. All the better - as I could enjoy this amazing dinner all over again tomorrow night!
The ever talented chef...Buxy himself, offers a variety of other fun-loving foods. With specials changing everyday and a great menu to please all, you can't go wrong at Buxy's. For "kickstarters" their yardbird specialty is Wings - you tell them your torture level! A variety of sauces are available and of course served with Bleu cheese dipping sauce - but Buxy warns, this is not for the timid! Their chicken strips are served with honey mustard or BBQ sauce while the Potato skins are made with bacon and cheese or seaskins topped with shrimp, crab meat, scallops, and cheddar, both are served with sour cream and of course there are always fries!
Hungry yet? Buxy also offers Heart Healthy items, particularly in his "Field O' Greens." Twenty years ago, if you were a vegetarian and joined a group of omnivores for dinner, or if you just felt like having a salad for dinner at a restaurant, you'd no doubt be relegated to the salad bar, there to choose among iceberg lettuce, cardboard tomatoes and greasy Thousand Island dressing. At Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon, salads run the gamut from House, Caesar which can be topped with chicken or tuna, Chef's, the Tuna salad platter, or Buxy's favorite - the Fogg salad. This is a must try for my next visit, a field of greens topped with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and black olives, all tossed with balsamic vinaigrette -mmm, it's sure to be delicious. They offer a wide range of dressings to compliment each salad.
The seafood platter leaves nothing to be missed, from Buxy's signature Mussel Beach from the steamer. A healthy portion of mussels served with sundried tomato pesto or garlic butter. Wow, what a combination! Let me not forget the prices! Unbelievable, not only are they competitive to lower than most, but the food is above the rest! A visit to Buxy's just wouldn't be a visit without someone trying one of his popular giant wraps. So big - you might have to eat it with a fork. The virtues of the simple tortilla wrap are no mystery to most but Buxy encases his delicious trappings with a tasty spinach or honey wheat wrap. Especially new this year is the veggie pita, a must - try for those health nuts.
The Gobble Wrap is another heart healthy meal stuffed with smoked turkey, romaine, provolone, tomatoes, honey Dijon and sprinkled with fresh lemon dill; while Ham It Up has honey cured ham rolled into a seasoned wheat tortilla, jammed with swiss, romaine, tomato, bacon, onion and a dollop of honey mustard. The Yardbird Wrap consists of homemade chicken salad rolled in a spinach wrap with romaine lettuce and tomatoes, while the heart healthy Luna Tuna wrap is made with his white albacore tuna salad recipe!
What's Buxy's favorite wrap you ask? Well of course that would be the Buxy Wrap. The best selling B.L.T. offering savory Smithfield applewood bacon, wrapped with ruffage, glued together with Heliman's mayonnaise and rolled in a honey wheat tortilla. All wraps are served with tortillas and pickles. These dishes are so simple and down to earth, they're bursting with summer flavor!
As for sandwiches, Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon has build your own burgers, Chicken San Antonio served on a Kaiser roll and smothered with cheddar, bacon and BBQ, or spicy marinated Buffalo Breast topped with crumbled Bleu cheese, the cheese steak sandwich has been a big hit, slow roasted BBQ Pork sandwich, or the delicious Egg Salad sandwich, the Big Weenie hot dog, and the Meathead Club, (Buxy's grandma's secret meatloaf recipe) built with provolone, bacon, lettuce and tomato served on sour dough. For the heart pleasing customer Buxy offers a Chicken Breast sandwich or his Grilled Tuna sandwich fresh seared from the sea. For the kiddies - the menu is short and sweet - Grilled Cheese, Kiddie Dog, or Chicken tenders including small fries and choice of soda. Enjoy, but don't be mistaken the food and drink are only half the fun. With three satellite systems and eight TV's, any and every game can be seen at Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon. The competition continues with the Salty Dog's dart league and foosball matches. Buxy's offers five nights of entertainment a week with acoustic high energy bands and local D.J.'s including D.J. Naked, D.J. Rupe, Opposite Direction, Dave Sherman, Soulfinger, and occasionally the famous Batman. "We try to mix it up and keep it fresh and entertaining," said Buxy. "The nighttime has really taken off and so have our t-shirts," continues Buxy. The saloon is open year-round 12 pm - 2 am. Carry-out is available and parking can be found in the rear.
So, no matter what your age - bring your friends and family to Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon where all ages have fun enjoying the comfort of this neighborhood tavern, good food, quality care, personable and friendly service. With all this guaranteed how could you not have fun! Come check out Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon "where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came."
Smoking Ban: Our Thoughts
Smoking ban finds support in resort
Maryland legislators move closer to statewide prohibition on lighting up indoors
By Beth Ward - Staff Writer
OCEAN CITY -- Patrons of Ocean City's bars and restaurants could see a major change in the establishments' atmosphere with the State Legislature moving one step closer to a statewide indoor smoking ban.
The House of Delegates passed their version of the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007 Saturday with the State Senate passing similar legislation Monday afternoon.Both bills have the same premise, prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants. However, there are some differences that will have to be worked out between the two chambers.
The Senate legislation gives county officials the control to grant waivers as well as allowing smoking in nonprofit clubs such as American Legions. The House bill calls for the state health department to set the criteria and enforcement and does not grant provisions for private clubs.
While the legislators hash out the specifics of the law, bar and restaurant owners, citizens and officials all have their own opinions about the potential change.
"This is a public health issue. Everybody working in bars and restaurants in Ocean City have the opportunity to work in a place that's healthy," Mary Bellis, mission manger for the American Cancer Society. "All other businesses provide a safe work environment, why should this be any different?"
Michael James, chairman of the Maryland Tourism Development Board and general manager of the Carousel Hotel, said he is against placing such restrictions on bars and restaurants.
"My feeling is that it's a business decision, not a government decision ... For most people in business the last thing they need is further government regulation," he said.
Opponents of the legislation argue that the bill will have a negative impact on businesses especially bars and taverns.
Doug "Buxy" Buxbaum, owner of Buxy's Salty Dog, said he knew the ban "was going to happen sooner or later."
"I don't condone smoking, but I hate the government stepping in and taking a personal right," he said. "As a non-smoker I love coming home and not smelling like smoke, but I understand the guy who wants to have a cigarette with a cup of coffee or after he's had a beer or two."
Buxbaum said he thinks his restaurant will have a harder time accommodating the provisions of the ban since it is a smaller establishment.
"My biggest fear is I don't have any area to create outside for people who want to have a cigarette," he said. "I just want a fair playing field for everyone."
Ralph DeAngelus, owner of the Paddock, spoke on behalf of the Party Block, three nightclubs that include the Paddock, the Big Kahuna and Rush. He said the Party Block is in full support of the smoking ban.
"If it effects business we'll eat it to better the health of America," he said. "We're not greedy, we'd like to see America get healthier. Second-hand smoke is a danger to society."
Steve Pappas, owner of The Greene Turtle, said he has talked to business owners in other areas that have the smoking ban and does not think it will have a long-term effect on Ocean City businesses.
"There will be an impact in the beginning but as with most things it will work itself out," Pappas said. "The benefits outweigh what everyone is afraid of ... As time goes on everyone will get used to it."
Dawn McGee, owner of Smitty McGee's in Fenwick Island, experienced the effect of a smoking ban on business when Delaware passed the law in 2002.
"It was the best thing that ever happened to my restaurant," she said.
McGee said she was opposed to the smoking ban because she didn't want the government to control her business. When the prohibition first went into place, McGee said the business declined for about three weeks, but after that they received even more business.
"I advertise it because so many people come to a restaurant that's nonsmoking," she said.
Ocean City resident Rebecca Doyle said she is looking forward to when smoking in no longer allowed in bars and restaurants.
"I'm not a smoker and I don't like to smell like a cigarette. It sucks to have to be around smoke, but I'm used to it. If people really want to smoke they will go outside," Doyle said.
Part of the challenge facing many businesses will be protecting smokers' rights by having areas set up for them, Pappas said.
There are residents who oppose the legislation saying that it is a personal right to smoke. Others argue that the prohibition in bars and restaurants is unnecessary.
"I think it should definitely be banned in restaurants, but you should be able to smoke in bars. You go to a bar, you expect it to be smoky," Ocean City resident Tom Creveling said.
If the ban passes, other people said they will be taking their businesses elsewhere. A woman wishing to only be identified as Laurie said she used to frequent bars in Delaware until they passed their smoking ban.
"We're unhappy about it," she said. "We're not going to drink in bars that don't allow smokers."
Del. Jim Mathias, D-38B, former mayor of Ocean City, said he gave the legislation careful consideration before voting for it because "it's always difficult to legislate behavior."
Mathias said his personal life weighed on his decision. His family has been involved with the American Cancer Society for years with his wife, Kathy, being a breast cancer survivor.
"That really gave me tremendous insight into the public health benefits," he said. "As the former mayor, I know how important the bars and restaurants are the economy. I was pulled to say the least."
In the end, Mathias said he spoke with people on both sides of the issue and felt he acted in the best interest of Maryland citizens.
"It was a difficult decision, but it was for the health of the citizens, children and people in the state and in our case people who visit our state," he said.
Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, R-38, said he supports the smoking ban allowing for a waiver for businesses who prove a financial hardship caused by the ban. Del. Norm Conway, D-38B, also supported the smoking ban. Conway said he thinks there should be provisions that allow smoking in private clubs, that will be one of the provisions discussed by a conference committee.
The conference committee made up of members of both chambers will reconcile the two pieces of legislation before returning them to their respective houses. As of Tuesday, the committee had not been formed.
For more information on House Bill 359 and Senate Bill 91, visit the Maryland General Assembly Web site mlis.state.md.us.