Food

Leslie’s Happy Hour: Boatyard Bar & Grill

Inside Boatyard Bar & Grill, a large, open space with high ceilings reveals countless signed photographs of fishermen and local memorabilia. Since Boatyard opened in 2001, Owner Dick Frayno has dedicated his efforts to creating a restaurant that exudes the essence of Annapolis’ Eastport neighborhood, both as it was in the past and as it is today. Located in Historic Eastport on Restaurant Row, Boatyard is a living history book—the kind that begs to be read.

Boatyard Bar & Grill
Boatyard’s bar, shaped like a fishing boat, alive with visitors, locals, and sailors

When I visited Boatyard for this month’s happy hour highlight, I went fully expecting to write about drink specials and tasty food. For example, drafts, domestics, and well drinks are $3, house wines and imported bottles $4, call drinks $5, and a variety of citrus crushes $6 during weekdays 3pm-7pm at the bar.

Boatyard Bar & Grill
“The Admiral” is a Boatyard twist on a cocktail classic:
Maker’s Mark, ginger liqueur, bitters, Luxardo cherries, and orange peel

Food specials range from $4 to $7 and include bar standards, like nachos and onion rings, as well as seafood fare, like mussels and smoked fish dip. A popular item on their happy hour menu—a fried cod sandwich dubbed the “Coddies”—was the freshest-tasting fried thing I’ve ever been lucky enough to eat, and elicited an involuntary and elated utterance upon my first, crisp bite.

Boatyard Bar & Grill
Two well-portioned cod sliders with lettuce, tomato, and served with homemade tartar and lemon

Their happy hour also features fresh, “Buck-A-Shuck” oysters on the half-shell, served with the customary accoutrements. Although Boatyard is widely known for their no-filler crab cakes (so well-known, in fact, that you can have them shipped to you by ordering online here), their other menu items stand up as well. Pizza, scallops, and curd-stuffed burrata with sundried tomato pesto, to name a few.

Boatyard Bar & Grill

Again, I expected to write about such things in a happy hour piece. I did not, however, anticipate writing about the environment. In addition to being a hot spot for food and drink, Boatyard’s commitment extends in a big way to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. They organize and host events year-round, donating the proceeds to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, among other local environmental and charitable groups. Upcoming events include the C.R.A.B. Regatta benefit on August 18, which promotes and supports disability-accessible sailing. On September 15, Boatyard will hold its fourteenth annual Boatyard Beach Bash, an event to raise money for the Annapolis Maritime Museum, where it is also held.

Boatyard Bar & Grill
The walls of Boatyard, effective archives of the area

Remember those oysters I ate? Boatyard recycles the shells—an important part of the Bay’s habitat restoration—through the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Shell Recycling Alliance, where they are a top producer. Boatyard itself has contributed the shells from nearly 100,000 oysters.

So, if you’re looking for a place to eat good food, get a genuine Annapolis experience, and help the environment while you’re at it, Boatyard Bar & Grill will not disappoint.

 

Photos courtesy of Leslie Howard-Goddard

Leslie Howard-Goddard

New Hampshire native Leslie Howard-Goddard moved to Annapolis in 2011 to study at St. John’s College. Since settling in the area, she has explored many of the beautiful camping spots the Mid-Atlantic has to offer and is always on the lookout for new waterfalls and vistas. Her favorite Annapolis activities include walking the scenic neighborhoods of Eastport, volunteering with local kids, and enjoying a cocktail at downtown Annapolis' many bars.