Conrad’s Seafood in Abingdon will open to the public April 23.
The restaurant is opening in the space at the Boulevard at Box Hill previously occupied by OC Brewing Company, which closed in early December, and Joe’s Crab Shack. It will be run by Chris Conrad, his wife, Suzanne, his sister-in-law, Andrea Conrad, and executive chef Joe Lancelotta.
“I’m excited, and a little nervous,” Suzanne Conrad said Thursday. “We want everyone to see how much this means to us and how much we want to be here.”
Conrad’s is a seafood restaurant but with something available for everyone, she said. It has a family-friendly atmosphere with friendly, knowledgeable staff and good food.
All the seafood is caught fresh daily, hence the motto, ‘We catch our own,’” Suzanne Conrad said.
Chris Conrad’s brother, Tony, is the waterman, and catches all the fresh seafood.
“He has a very high standard of what he gives to people,” Suzanne Conrad said. “We always hope to deliver the very best.”
Their chef, Lancelotta, is also top notch, she said. Before joining Conrad’s, Lancelotta was a chef at Country Club of Maryland in Baltimore County.
“He is a key instrument because his food is awesome,” Suzanne Conrad said. “It will be his creations, his flair.”
Conrad wants customers to want to come back.
“People can spend their money anywhere. If they choose to come here, we’re going to try our hardest to get them to come back,” she said.
The restaurant will seat about 260 people and employ about 70.
Members of the Harford County Liquor Control Board approved the liquor license for the restaurant Wednesday.
“This place will be a success, the owners are prepared to commit themselves to make this work,” Conrad’s lawyer, Edward C. Covahey Jr. of Towson, told the liquor board.
Conrad’s will have a soft opening for family and friends April 18 before the public opening.
The family is also opening a seafood market on Baltimore Pike in Bel Air, across from Birroteca. It is expected to open in June, Suzanne Conrad said.
Conrad’s first seafood market, on Joppa Road in Parkville, opened in 2007. In 2014, Conard’s first restaurant, located on Route 1 in Perry Hall, opened in 2014.
Since taking over the restaurant space in Abingdon, at least $250,000 worth of capital improvements has been made, a requirement of their liquor license, Covahey said.
Among the work done includes construction of separate oyster bars and sushi bars, a hostess stand and seating areas that can accommodate larger parties of 10 to 12 people, Conrad said.
Chris Conrad started in the hospitality industry when he was 15 years old, working at a number of seafood restaurants as well as Bohager’s in Baltimore. He moved to California, where he met Suzanne, and they moved to Harford County in fall of 2017.
Covahey assured the board that Conrad’s is a family restaurant, not a nightclub.
“The atmosphere they create and the way they operate keeps everybody doing the right thing,” he said.
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The Abingdon restaurant, 443-402-0482, will be open at 11:30 a.m. daily, closing at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.