Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Blue Dog Café features bit of ol’ Broadway

(Oct. 27, 2016) About 20 years ago, when Salisbury native Gary Weber walked into Snow Hill, he brought with him his love for theater, his knowledge of restaurants and a steady flow of income during the early century’s real estate boom to bring the culture of one of the world’s biggest cities to one of the lower shore’s smallest towns.
“Ours is a special events place,” he said. “We always have entertainment, and it’s always something different.”
Sometimes, it’s just birthdays, when staff and local musicians belt out renditions of “Happy Birthday” to groups — sometimes up to seven times per night, he said, but other times, it’s in support of local and regional causes, like the event scheduled for tonight, that benefits local emergency shelter Diakonia.
“We try to give back by sponsoring a soccer team, raising money for Jesse’s Paddle or, in this case, Diakonia, which is the only local place for women in trouble to go.”
Tonight the Blue Dog Café is featuring “A Broadway Melody” with Cheryl Taustin, Weber himself, Michael Pruitt and Todd Crosby.
“It’s a Broadway review and a three-course dinner. We’ll end up seating about 70 people and have a live and silent auction. We still have room,” he said. “We don’t do too many unknown songs — we focus on the popular hits.”
Weber said the shows he tends to feature are the ones that are constantly being brought back as revivals.
“We do classic Broadway and movies. We have several colleges down here — we want culture. There’s good comedy and it doesn’t offend anyone,” he explained. “It’s what you get in a rural area — we’re not doing Equus, it’s not high art without any comedy at all.”
Weber lived in New York during the 1980s, and like many bitten by the acting bug, had to supplement his income by working in restaurants. He said he started washing dishes in restaurants at the age of 15.
“I was into acting at Salisbury University, and have been on TV. I’m into it. In the boom of 2005, I was blessed to make some money and bought the Blue Dog. It had a stage already, so we have to use it,” Weber said.
So the Blue Dog Cafe, primarily open on weekends, offers these glimpses into the world of musical theater regularly, but on occasion, Weber said, he’s able to bring down some of his friends from the city to perform, or to try out something they’ve been working on.
There isn’t a set schedule for these types of performances, and the best bet is to visit the website at
The next scheduled event is scheduled from Dec. 5 -8, and is entitled “A Blue Dog Christmas” featuring Weber, Taustin, Rhonda Apple, Pruitt, Margot Resto and Crosby, accompanied by the Blue Dog Elf Band.
“I have regulars from Bethany, and a few local couples. Snow Hill doesn’t have the population, which is the biggest struggle in keeping everything open and working. Population is going to determine how long we survive. But we’ve been stable for six years,” he said.
The weekend shows along with the special events are enough to keep the business side open and functioning, but with the small population of Snow Hill, staying open more often is harder to manage.
“People who love theater and live performance know who we are — I think most people know who we are,” he said.
And for now, it’s working.
“I somehow landed here in Snow Hill. I built a real estate business here. Lots of other places have come and gone. It’s been a struggle — but I’ve been blessed. I’m doing the best job I can,” he said. “The restaurant portion is key, but the entertainment gets people to make the drive. It’s the hospitality business so if you’re hospitable, you’ll do well.”
The fundraiser dinner costs $75 per plate, and begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 410-251-7193.