March-April 2010 | NEW MOON RISING

Chef Gary Beach



Gary Beach and the Marlin Moon Grille are back inside the popular Micky Fins

Written By: Jonathan Westman | Photographer: Stephen Cherry

There are a select number of chefs on the Eastern Shore whose restaurants are virtual household names. Their flavorful dishes are synonymous with success and their establishments are integral and nostalgic aspects of our lives.

If such a restaurant happens to close for a period of time during the winter, patrons are often left to wander in and out of several other spots until their favorite hangout reemerges from an offseason siesta. During the rare instance when a popular restaurant closes permanently, it sends shockwaves through its faithful followers living close by and states away.

One of those instances was the Marlin Moon Grille – a West Ocean City staple inside the Francis Scott Key Motel since 2001. When restaurateur Gary Beach closed the Moon’s doors for good in October, frequent diners were disappointed and displaced.

“It was time for us to go,” Beach said. “They are great people there. They gave us a great opportunity and I wish them all the best.”

As fate would have it, after spending the winter in Florida “looking for warmer weather,” Beach has returned to Ocean City and his famous menu items and exceptionally talented staff members have, too. Gary has joined forces with Micky Fins restaurant owner John Gudelsky to create The Marlin Moon Grille at Micky Fins inside the popular hotspot overlooking the Ocean City Fishing Center. Beach will direct a daily operation that will feature breakfast, lunch and dinner seating – all beginning with a soft opening on weekends in March.

“We’ll feature items that mean something to our guests and the community without overdoing it. I do not want to compromise the view – it’s amazing. Absolutely incredible,” Beach said.

Marlin Moon classics such as Gary’s famous cream of crab soup, phyllo dough-wrapped shrimp and fish tacos will be on the menu. The interior of Micky Fins will even showcase a small collection of old Marlin Moon memorabilia.

“I have a ton of stuff in my dining room that people will remember. We’ll put some of it on the walls, but I refuse to do anything that will take away from the unbelievable views,” Gary said.

More familiar than the décor to patrons of the Moon will be the recognizable staff members – an integral component to any establishment – and Gary wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I am excited to have our old staff back together – our core servers and our bartenders – they’ll all be there,” Beach said. “We’re like family. We’ve always worked really well together, and you have to, or the restaurant won’t work.”

Beach will also bring back some of his favorite events for charity, including the Irish Christmas Party on March 14 featuring musician James Gallagher playing from a boat in the marina.

With more on his plate than he had at his previous restaurant, including more bars and
seats, Gary knows a busy year is on the horizon. “It will be a challenge, but I am really looking forward to it.”

Marlin Moon Grille at Micky Fins

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