July-August 2013 | REEL-IN' THE YEARS




Scott and Angie Lathroum begin their 22nd season at the Reel Inn in Ocean City, and they’re just as dedicated to provide their customers with a first-class experience as when they opened

For Scott and Angie Lathroum, the restaurant business is a labor of love. As the owners of the Reel Inn Restaurant & Dock Bar, who are entering their 22nd season at Harbour Island Marina in Ocean City, they’ve certainly paid their dues with long, exhausting hours, to ensure the business runs smoothly. They’ve also raised three children during this time — Chele (born during their first summer as owners), Ali and Jake — each of whom has worked right alongside their parents at one time or another. 

The couple’s love for the Reel Inn comes from their tireless dedication and desire to ensure their customers enjoy the very best atmosphere, service, food and experience. When Angie was asked what the words “Reel Inn” mean to her, she was touched by pure emotion while answering, “My home. A lot of hard work. My home.”

“I tell our workers, and I tell my lacrosse players, that you can only ever make one first impression,” said Scott, who has also coached the Stephen Decatur High School boys’ lacrosse team for the past seven years. “A guest in our restaurant and bar will walk into a very nice, neat, clean, good-feeling atmosphere. I want every customer to say, ‘Wow! This place really looks good and smells good.’ That’s sets the tone for their entire experience with us.”

The Reel Inn started as a small bar, but Scott and Angie, who first met during college, while working at the Wild Goose Chase for Dick Vach, have worked each offseason to add something new to its appearance. The concept has become both a business model and a tradition of sorts. Over the years, they’ve built the kitchen, an office and covered the open-air deck for dining, which seats up to 40 guests. 

In preparation for this summer, they created an attractive and functional outdoor seating area with couches and high-top tables. There’s even a Reel Inn cornhole game back there, which adds to the overall experience.

Scott and Angie take great pride in the food coming out of that kitchen, and their customers can’t seem to get enough. Staples include Tuna Bites, Spring Rolls, the REEL Crab Dip and the Assawoman Combo — a platter of tuna bites, steamed shrimp and scallops.

“For a small kitchen, I think we serve very good food,” Angie said. “Chef Nick is doing a great job heading up the kitchen this summer. He says, ‘You gotta try the Fried Oyster Po Boy.’ His specials include a fresh catch of the day and hand-cut steaks.”  

Unique to the Reel Inn is “You Catch; We Cook.” Call ahead, and they will prepare your fresh fillet to your liking. They serve lunch and light fare starting at 11 a.m., with dinner and light fare from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant/ bar also features a very nice wine list to complement their popular menu.

The Reel Inn is home to the White Marlin Open — the Super Bowl of billfish tournaments — and their crew is always ready to handle the influx of crowds. 

“It’s fantastic that we have people who come back to work it and know exactly what to do, when to do it, and they get it done right,” Scott said.

During the White Marlin Open, the Reel Inn is host to the weeklong dock party, with food, drink, local bands and DJs. It is a blast. The Reel Inn opens early May Thursdays & Fridays and operates full time from early June through Labor Day. They remain open Thursday through Sunday in September and in early October, weather permitting. You can book your event parties in early spring and summer.  

Reel Inn is located inside Harbour Island, a gated community nestled on the bay on 14th street in Ocean City. They have limited parking reserved for patrons inside of Harbor Island, as well as street parking, and you can dock your boat. 

Either way, the Reel Inn is a short walk down the dock.  

“We’re hard to find but easy to please,” said Angie. “We’re in Ocean City, but you don’t really feel like you’re in the hustle and bustle of town.”


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