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Riptide by the Bay will head to auction in December

Riptide by the Bay will hit the auction block next month after nearly a decade in business in Fells Point.

Known for its steamed crabs and other seafood, the restaurant and bar at 1718 Thames St. will be auctioned onsite at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 as owners Meredith and Roger Rippel step away from the restaurant to focus on raising their young children, Meredith Rippel said.

When the husband-and-wife duo opened Riptide in 2008, they were child-free. Now with three children under age 6, they’re looking for a change, Meredith Rippel said.

“Living the rock-star life is not as glamorous as it used to be,” she said. “Looking forward as we have three young kids, now we’re like, ‘OK, are we going to be putting more and more time into the restaurant, or are we going to be putting less time into the restaurant?’”

They decided to sell, opting for an auction with the hope that it generates excitement around the sale. The sale includes the three-story building, equipment within the restaurant and its seven-day liquor license.The starting bid is $750,000. A $50,000 deposit is required.

Adam Shpritz, the auctioneer with Ashland Auction Group handling the sale, said he has received multiple inquiries from prospective buyers.

Rippel and her family moved to the Eastern Shore several years ago, and in 2016 opened a children’s horseback riding program at Dominic’s Farm in Queenstown. She has about 60 students and plans to continue building the program following the restaurant’s sale.

Riptide remains open, and Rippel said she hopes new owners will keep her current staff. She also said she would be willing to share recipes for the restaurant’s best-selling dishes, such as lobster ravioli or scallops with lobster risotto.

“The question is whether the new people are going to continue the Maryland crab tradition,” she said. “I hope that whoever takes it over will continue some of the food trends we’ve had.”

smeehan@baltsun.com

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