St. George's Island Restaurant Springs Back To Life

By Guy Leonard, County Times

Neal Reilly, head chef at the new Evans Seafood restaurant and Delores Morgan, a veteran of the previous seafood house, get food ready for hungry customers. (Photo: Guy Leonard)
Neal Reilly, head chef at the new Evans Seafood restaurant and Delores Morgan, a veteran of the previous seafood house, get food ready for hungry customers. (Photo: Guy Leonard)

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (June 19, 2008)—The new Evans Seafood restaurant on St. George’s Island is open for business, just six months after the construction started, and with its resurrection St. George’s Island has once again become a dining destination.

The restaurant re-opened June 11 quietly with no advertising.

But the owners of the new seafood house, Chuck and Julie Kimball, said they have been flush with customers since their opening and say that so far they have only met with satisfied diners.

There is an abbreviated menu to start out with since opening, but diners can still get steak, crab legs, shrimp and premium crab cakes to satisfy their seafood cravings.

Even with fewer choices, the customers just kept coming, said Chuck Kimball, especially over the weekend.

It made running the store a little tight, he said.

“We ran out of food Saturday night,” Kimball said. “We ran out of all kinds of stuff.

“But we did very well Sunday, I guess it was because of Father’s Day.”

Kimball closed down the restaurant Monday to make sure everyone on staff had a break.

“We knew it [would be good,] but nothing like this,” Kimball said after the restaurant’s first week. “We did not have one negative comment the whole weekend.”

Church and business groups have already booked space at the restaurant after word of mouth spread, Kimball said.

Evans Seafood got its start back in 1962 when its then owner Robert “Bugs” Evans started out with an oyster shucking shack that quickly turned into a restaurant when people found it more convenient to just buy and eat their seafood there on the island.

Over the years the restaurant grew and grew over nearly 40 years to meet the growing demand for seafood and Evans helped put St. George’s Island on the map as the place to go in the county for the best seafood.

Kimball took over the business in 2004 after the family could no longer run the business; in 1994 “Bugs” Evans died and his son, Ronnie, who took over the business, later developed Alzheimer’s disease and had to be under his wife’s full-time care.

Carol Evans, “Bugs” Evans’ daughterin-law, who was an integral part of the restaurant’s operations for nearly 20 years along with husband Ronnie, had high hopes for the restaurant’s resurrection.

“I hope we can keep a good restaurant down here,” Carol Evans told The County Times. “I wish them well; we need more restaurants.”

Since Evans’ inception more than 40 years ago, it has not only been a valuable commodity for bringing in hungry tourists and travelers but also to the local job market.

Many in the Piney Point area and St. George’s Island could get summer jobs there; during that season as many as 50 to 60 employees earned a paycheck there.

“I’m so glad they’re finally open,” Carol Evans said. “It definitely will help the whole area and all of St. Mary’s County.”

The owners’ decision to have a quiet opening was a smart one, she said, that allowed word to circulate about the restaurant’s return to ensure a grand opening did not fall flat.

“They’re doing it the very best way,” Carol Evans said. “The rumors are all around the county, people are whispering ‘Evans is open, Evans is open.’”

“Word of mouth is the very best advertising.”

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