OCEAN CITY – Longtime downtown fixture The Kitchen Restaurant will be operating under new ownership this summer, promising the same great breakfast with the addition of a new lunch and dinner menu that will offer a little something for everyone.
Owner Patrick Jarrell took over the downtown restaurant earlier this month, bringing with him years of experience as the manager of the Dunes, and additional years of experience in the restaurant business in Ocean City, Philadelphia and New York. Jarrell also brings with him an enthusiasm for downtown, as well as a desire to bring back the old family feel of the original Kitchen Restaurant. “We want to get it back the way it was years ago,” he said.
Jarrell is hoping to transfer his love and passion for Ocean City into the restaurant.
“I’ve been living here for over 12 years now. I love it down here; the people are great and its a lot more family oriented. It’s a nice place to make a home,” Jarrell said.
So far, Jarrell has seen a lot of support from locals since taking over the restaurant.
“I’ve been getting a lot of support from local people. They’ve really been helping tremendously,” he said.
With the focus of a family-style restaurant will come a family-style menu. Jarrell plans to keep the same popular breakfast menu, but will expand with the addition of a new lunch and dinner menu.
“It’s going to be the same great breakfast, we’re not touching the breakfast,” he said, noting that the popular creamed chip beef and omelets will still be mainstay items.
Breakfast will be served all the time, as late as 3 a.m. on weekends.
“Whenever we are open, we will be serving breakfast,” Jarrell explained.
Lunch will be served from noon to close with a separate dinner menu available from 3 to 10 p.m.
Contributing the new menu items will be The Kitchen’s new chef, Jay Baker, who spent many years running the kitchen at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth.
“He’s bringing a lot of experience and ideas with him, it’s really great,” Jarrell said.
Baker will be creating the separate dinner menu based on his own recipes. The specialized dinner menu will be a $9.95 menu, offering items such as rockfish with a unique wine sauce.
Lunch items will offer something for everyone, from salads to crab cake sandwiches.
“Anything that someone wants, we’re going to have it,” Jarrell said.
Shrimp salad and chicken salad will be made from scratch daily, offering only the freshest ingredients, he said.
One item that is already gaining a following is the 16-ounce cheesesteak, and Jarrell submitted a preview of the massive cheesesteak that truly engulfs the entire plate. Jarrell explained that the recipe is based on the classic Philly cheesesteak, with the ingredients and bread coming from Philly as well.
“Ours is just different,” Jarrell said of their recipe, “It’s what I grew up with in Philly.”
The Philly cheesesteak is available for $8.99, but will be available on special this weekend, from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., for just $6.99.
All of the menu items will be available for a sit-down meal, but The Kitchen will also be offering full take-out as well. Although Jarrell hasn’t completely ruled out the prospect of delivery, for now he will only be focusing on eat-in and carryout.
Despite gloomy media predictions of a slowing economy, Jarrell remains positive about the upcoming summer, feeling confident that families will travel to Ocean City to enjoy the beach, Boardwalk and The Kitchen.
“I think for a lot of people, Ocean City will be their vacation spot this year,” he said.
Jarrell also predicts that skyrocketing gas prices will keep Baltimore and DC metro area vacationers from traveling past Ocean City to Virginia Beach or the Carolinas.
“I think gas prices will keep people close to home and for a lot of people, Ocean City is close to home,” he said.
For those vacationers and locals that stop in to The Kitchen this summer, Jarrell promises a family-oriented, friendly atmosphere, saying, “It’s very comfortable in here. It’s a nice, family type of place.”
Jarrell also noted the establishment truly is family-owned and operated, with several family members putting in hours at the restaurant. Jarrell’s fiancé Carol will also be seen buzzing around the restaurant, planning interior changes.
“She’s been coming here to Ocean City all her life. We actually met down here,” Jarrell said of his fiancé, noting their shared love for the resort town.