OCEAN CITY – With three all-you-can-eat buffet options ranging from breakfast to seafood to pizza and pasta, Hall’s Restaurant provides something for the whole family, a tradition the Hall family has been maintaining since they entered the restaurant business over 30 years ago.
“We like to consider ourselves Ocean City’s all-you-can-eat experts with three all-you-can-eat options,” said co-owner Joe Hall.
While Hall’s features three buffets in the expansive 60th Street restaurant, the business didn’t always focus on buffet-style dining.
Hall’s father embarked on the restaurant business in 1972, when he opened a coffee and donut shop downtown.
“My parents’ original plan was to make their fortune selling coffee and donuts,” explained Hall.
The demand for more options grew quickly however as the coffee and donut shop’s popularity grew, forcing the couple to add a grill and sandwich unit in the kitchen, expanding to breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
It wasn’t long before the Halls decided to make the move to the mid-town sector, relocating the business to 60th Street.
“My grandfather’s summer home was located on a couple of lots here, so my father had grown up spending his summers here,” explained Hall.
The family decided to transform the lot into the Hall’s Restaurant that stands today, featuring breakfast and dinner options.
While in Virginia Beach one year on business, Hall’s father opted to dine at a seafood buffet restaurant and instantly saw the appeal.
“The next year, we had a seafood buffet at Hall’s,” said Hall.
The year after followed with the addition of the breakfast buffet.
“It works well for the customers. They can get in, eat what they please and get to the beach. People enjoy the value in the food and the convenience of the buffet,” said Hall.
This year, Hall’s added a third buffet option, the pizza, pasta, soup, salad and dessert buffet, featured on the second floor of the restaurant.
“When we combined the a la carte and the seafood buffet on the first floor, it left the second floor stagnant,” said Hall.
As a result, the family began brainstorming ideas for the second floor, deciding on a third, value option.
“With the economy being tight, we decided a valued option would be attractive to the customers,” Hall said.
The newest buffet addition features all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, salad, soup and desert, affordably priced at $9.99 for adults. Children ages 7 to 12 eat for $6.99, with children ages 3 to 6 dining for $3.99 and children under the age of two free. Discounts are also offered to seniors as well as a $1 off for those under the age of 19.
“It’s been positive so far,” said Hall of the newest buffet option. “We’re still educating people about what’s available, but it’s been a positive response so far.”
Already a strong following of locals has formed, consisting of local diners who feast on the new buffet weekly.
Besides the local following, Hall’s has always aimed to cater to the hardworking family.
“For years, our traditional customer base has been the blue collar worker who works all year to come to Ocean City,” explained Hall.
Like most area restaurants, Hall’s has a strong following of families who include a stop at Hall’s in their visit to Ocean City. “As people have found us, they have certainly become repeat customers, sending their family and friends in, too. A lot of our business is from word-of-mouth,” said Hall.
With the summer well underway, Hall’s is in high gear, enjoying the busiest time of the year. Hall noted the last two weeks in July and the first two weeks in August as the busiest time at Hall’s, with summer crowds peaking. But Hall’s also sees big crowds in the shoulder season, with the influx of visitors for special events in the town such as Bike Week and the car shows.
“We do tremendously with the fall and spring car shows and with Bike Week,” said Hall. “The private, special events are vital for our shoulder season.”
During the busy summer months, Hall’s increases its staff, utilizing the strong base of American and foreign students that fill the town in search of jobs.
“We transition from 20 full season employees to over 100 employees at the height of the season,” said Hall.
As one of four children, Hall isn’t the only Hall family member carrying on the tradition at the restaurant, explaining that all of his siblings have played a part in the restaurant at one time or another. Currently, Hall and sister Catherine work together as managing partners.
“Without her, I wouldn’t be able to handle the work load. We complement each other well,” said Hall.
For Hall, growing up to work in the family business was always in the cards.
“For me, it was 100 percent. My only other fantasy job was sport fishing,” explained Hall, who has managed to enjoy the best of both worlds, managing the family business and enjoying fishing recreationally during his time away from the restaurant.
As Hall’s Restaurant enjoys another season of new and familiar faces, Hall and his family continue their tradition of value and convenience. “We’re dedicated to a friendly atmosphere, serving high quality food, prepared and served in a timely manner,” said Hall.