By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 2, 2019) River Run, the community on Beauchamp Road next to Ocean Pines, is giving its restaurant a new name and menu makeover.
Starr Restaurant at River Run, previously known as The Players Club because of its location near the greens, has been serving the community for nearly 15 years. The new name comes from the owner’s middle name, Starr.
This season, restaurant managers want to put Starr Restaurant on the map for area residents and tourists and not just the golfers nearby.
“We really want to welcome and encourage the members of this community to come back and utilize this as sort of a home restaurant for them,” Rebekah Link, front-of-house coordinator, said. “We want them to feel welcome here, in addition to the golfers.”
The restaurant is now providing dining activities like wine tastings, luncheons, catering and is planning for its first wedding reception this summer.
“There have been a lot of activities that have been extremely well received that have helped tie this restaurant to the community,” Link said. “Not just our internal community, but to Ocean Pines, Berlin and the surrounding areas.”
The reception for the restaurant has been positive, Link said.
“The menu was a big change for Starr Restaurant to sort of adapt away from the Players Club,” Link said. “I think we’ve come to a really good core that is working.”
The restaurant is small and intimate, seating 125 people overall. Offering everything from breakfast sandwiches from 8-10 a.m. to lunch and dinner specials, Starr Restaurant has been remarketed to be an “elevated causal” dining affair.
Each week, the restaurant offers a weekly feature. There is no specific cuisine that the restaurant covers, as its fare ranges from fine dining to Mediterranean, Italian and other popular choices.
The makeover has been made possible with the recruitment of Executive Chef Dasha Perez-Haney, a classically trained chef who hails from Denver.
Perez-Haney credits her love of cooking to her mother, who could do anything but.
“She couldn’t cook to save her life … basically the only thing she could make was a dinner reservation,” Perez-Haney said. “That’s where I learned to cook for myself and really found that that I enjoyed it. I grew up in restaurants, started when I was 14 years old as a hostess and then just kind of worked every position throughout the restaurants growing up.”
Perez-Haney studied three years at the Brown Palace Hotel and worked her way up to becoming the creative culinary chef, whose job was to design the menus whenever a new restaurant opened.
She arrived in Worcester County two years ago to stay with some family members who live in Ocean Pines, bringing with her a variety of culinary skills that were featured on Chopped, a Food Network cooking competition where chefs must cook with four random ingredients for three rounds under the scrutiny of well-known chefs and food critics.
Perez-Haney competed in the “Wings and Whiskey” episode and made it into the dessert round.
“It was an experience of a lifetime and was my first time out in New York, so that was fantastic,” Perez-Haney said.
This will be Perez-Haney’s second season with the restaurant. The chef soon grew accustomed to the slower pace that comes from living in Worcester County. Being “an outsider,” Perez-Haney said, she enjoys bringing a new take on cuisine than is typically found in Berlin or Ocean Pines.
“I think it’s nice to bring some culture,” Perez-Haney said. “That’s the one thing that I’ve noticed lacks here is a lot a culture and ethnicity. So for me, if I can bring that and show and teach that to the guests, I think it inspires me and makes me feel like I’ve successfully taught something new.”
The restaurant offers happy hour from 3-6 p.m. every day. Dinner services typically begin at 5 p.m. and end around 8 p.m.
For more information call 410-641-6500 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page at Starr Restaurant at River Run.