By: Dylan Roche
Published in Pasadena Voice May 2017
Although Anne Arundel County has more than 500 miles of shoreline, the number of waterfront dining options are few unless you’re heading into Annapolis. In North County especially, where Annapolis might be a half-hour’s drive away, you could count on one hand the number of restaurants with waterfront dining — that’s an average of one per river or creek.
This was enough to inspire Tony Toskov, the restaurateur behind such Pasadena hotspots as Twain’s Tavern and Two Rivers Steak & Fish House. “You look at the footage of shoreline between the Patapsco and Magothy River,” he said. “As much waterfront as we have, we have very few restaurants on the water.”
Thus began his latest restaurant endeavor: the Broken Oar Bar & Grill, for which he teamed up with business partners and fellow Pasadenians Mike Malone and Teddy Shaw. The three of them wanted to create a nice restaurant where guests — families, couples or even groups of friends — could sit out on the water to enjoy, as the restaurant’s tagline goes, “oarsome food, oarsome beer, oarsome fun.”
Their months-long project of buying and transforming what was previously Nabbs Creek Dock Bar & Grille on Stoney Creek from a dive bar into a sophisticated, welcoming dining establishment culminated with a grand opening of the Broken Oar in mid-March, and in the two months since then, the new place has proved popular. “Business has been great. It’s picking up big time,” Toskov said. “People just go, ‘Wow. This is nice.’ I think it’s going to be a nice addition to the community.”
That wow factor is exactly what Toskov, Malone and Shaw aimed for when they were designing the Broken Oar. “We’re hoping this to be a restaurant before a bar,” said Shaw. “We made this very friendly, very nice.”
The bright, airy interior is furnished with wood-grain tables and a coppertop bar, and the windows provide a sweeping view of the outdoor dining deck and recently restored Nabbs Creek Marina, where the new pier boasts 114 boat slips for guests coming by water.
In anticipation of busy periods, the partners wanted to be sure their kitchen would be able to keep up with more than 100 seats. “One of our biggest concerns developing the menu is making sure the stuff we have on there is cross-referenced, so we can actually get it out in 20 minutes or less,” Toskov said. “We decided to put a pizza oven in because they’re fast and you can get just about anything you want on them. We went with some entrees, pastas, steaks, fish — it’s a unique menu.”
Shaw further emphasized that their design of the Broken Oar includes 21st-century details that will please modern guests, from the USB ports – so people can use their phones – to the high-tech draft system that keeps the beer flowing at the right temperature. “The beer is going to be pumped at 30 or 32 degrees when it goes into glasses,” Shaw said. “We’re going to have some of the coldest draft beer around.”
Shaw, Malone and Toskov are pleased with the way the vision of the Broken Oar became a reality, but as they all agreed, it’s more important what the public thinks. So far, all feedback at 864 Nabbs Creek Road in Glen Burnie has been positive, but Toskov said that as the summer gets underway and they see more and more customers, his mind is always open to adjusting the restaurant to meet the needs of the people he serves. “We change things up based on what the public’s looking for,” he said. “Our biggest critic is the public, and we try to make adjustments to satisfy the guests.”- See more at: http://www.pasadenavoice.com/community/no-need-drive-annapolis-broken-oar-offers-dock-and-dine-option-north-county-just-time#sthash.FD2iRMKq.dpuf