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


Fins reels in Berlin customers during first full week open

(Nov. 3, 2016) Fresh, local seafood, a slate of happy hour specials and plenty of craft beer are the stars of downtown Berlin’s newest restaurant, Fins Ale House and Raw Bar.
Fins officially opened last week after moving into the space vacated by Leaky Pete’s on 119 North Main Street.
“The first week was crazy busy in here,” owner Jeff Hamer said. “The people here have been awesome. This is truly the nicest small town in America – by far. Everyone has been unbelievably welcoming. I’m just overwhelmed.”
Hamer opened the first “Fins” in Rehoboth in 2005, followed by several other locations in Delaware, and then a brewery in 2014.
He said baked oysters have been the biggest seller during the inaugural week in Berlin, and that oyster po’ boys and crab cake sandwiches have also done well.
Much of the product, including tuna, rockfish, scallops, calamari and oysters, are brought in from local suppliers. Fins also features a “fish board” of fresh catches that can be prepared several ways.
“There are six different fish every day that you can have cooked three different ways – blackened, broiled or grilled – and then you have them stuffed with crab imperial or not stuffed, and then we have seven different sauces,” Hamer said. “You can have black beans and salsa or chutney or dill cream sauce or a lobster sauce – you can come in seven times and eat the same kind of fish and have it seven different ways.”
Happy hour, Hamer said, is still a work in progress. Specials, from 3-6 p.m. every day except Saturday, include a half dozen oysters on the half shell, as well as cod, wings, mussels and steamed clams, for $6 each. A pound of snow crab legs runs $9.99.
“I think happy hour is going to take a little bit longer to build up here,” Hamer said. “On the highway [in Rehoboth], we’ve got a lot of retired people, so they all just show up right at 4 o’clock. They’ve been waiting all day. Here it might be a little bit of an adjustment.”
Another hurdle for the new restaurant is getting its line of craft beer into Maryland. Currently, plenty of craft drafts and bottles are available, but licensing hurdles could delay the original line of beers from showing up on the menu for about another month, Hamer said.  
He also envisions a few more restaurant locations in the Free State – “I see three or four in Maryland,” Hamer said – as well as a greatly expanded brewing facility, which would likely be housed in Delaware.
“If anybody’s reading this article from Maryland and they want to entice me to come over here with some nice tax incentives, I would definitely consider it,” Hamer said.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
For more information call 410-641-3000 or visit