By Greg Ellison
(March 26, 2020) Numerous dining establishments in Ocean Pines have shifted to delivery only in an attempt to maintain a degree of normalcy for community members.
The Pine Public House on Nicholas Lane is offering home deliveries but with slightly tweaked hours.
General Manager Erin Meyers said those could be adjusted further depending on the circumstances.
“We’re looking at staying open to 8,” she said.
Matt Ortt Companies Managing Partner Ralph DeAngelus said the Ocean Pines Yacht Club shipped out hot meals last week from Wednesday through Sunday.
The undertaking has been handled by nearly a dozen management team members, who took orders, prepared food and brought nourishment to local doorsteps.
“I myself delivered about 30 meals to homes,” he said.
Both operations have undergone menu changes, with Meyers noting the Pines Public House is posting daily lunch and dinner specials on its Facebook page.
“For $40, you can get a whole family meal,” she said.
Offered for groups of varying sizes, the “homestyle meals” are comprised largely of comfort foods, Meyers said.
In addition to providing less expensive offerings, the family deals are also a product of condensing the typically wider menu offerings.
“It’s hard to keep the inventory in stock,” she said.
DeAngelus said the outpouring of support to keep operations humming at the Yacht Club has been notable.
“They feel as if they’re helping the community,” he said. “The look on their faces is priceless when they see me walk up to the door with their food,” he said.
Restaurant staffing reductions have also been commonplace.
Yasemin Koltuk, general manager of Paradise Grill and Pizzeria on Nicholas Lane, said business there is like business everywhere this week: slow.
“We cut staff hours because it’s slow,” she said.
While still offering normal menu options, Koltuk said Paradise Grill would close by 9 p.m., or slightly earlier based on daily orders.
Members of the OPA Yacht Club staff have also been out of work, with about 40 hourly offseason staff affected.
To offer some financial aid, DeAngelus said while there is no delivery fee for the doorstep service, patrons are being encouraged to provide tips that will be used as a cash infusion when staff returns.
“They’ve been unbelievably generous knowing that the tips are going to go to the hourly staff,” he said.
Adhering to safety protocols, DeAngelus said every order includes a set of gloves.
“We drive around with hand sanitizer and we do everything with gloves,” he said.
Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kerrie Bunting said fear is a part of daily existence for many, with health concerns followed closely by financial uncertainties.
“Uncertainty is stressful,” she said. “Thinking outside of the box can be everyone’s saving grace.”