Don’t Anger the Sailing Gods

Published on August 9th, 2015

If you remember Marmaduke’s Pub in Annapolis, you are both old enough to have been there, but not too old to have forgotten you were there. Marmaduke’s was the center of the Annapolis après-sailing scene, and  having a Ruth’s Chris Steak House now reside at that residence seems sacrilegious to the sailing gods. But in this excerpt from the Capital Gazette, order has been restored…

Dick Franyo spent 30 years in the financial industry, working for Alex Brown & Sons from 1972 to 2002. In 2001, Franyo accomplished a long-time dream by opening the Boatyard Bar & Grill.

Franyo enjoyed running the restaurant and pub so much that he retired from the high pressure world of investment banking. Over the past 14 years, Franyo has built the Boatyard Bar & Grill into one of the most respected establishments on the Annapolis dining scene.

marmadukesPerhaps even more impressive is the fact Boatyard has succeeded in filling a niche that has been absent in this town ever since Marmaduke’s Pub closed in 1997. Boatyard has become known as the sailor’s bar in Eastport, the place where participants and their supporters gather after Wednesday or Thursday night racing along with weekend regattas.

A major reason why the sailing crowd and the maritime community have supported the Boatyard is because Franyo has put so much time, effort and money into charitable causes that benefit causes that concern those types of folks.

Question-and-Answer session with Franyo:
Q: Talk about your reason for opening The Boatyard Bar & Grill. I presume by the name you intended to fill a niche within the sailing community?

A: Yes, we wanted to be the Chesapeake Bay “sailing, fishing and Save the Bay place. Our tag line goes: For sailors, fishermen and all lovers of the Chesapeake.

Q: Marmaduke’s was always known as the hardcore sailor’s bar during its time in Annapolis. After Marmaduke’s closed, many bars in Eastport tried to emulate it and attract the sailing crowd without success. Boatyard Bar & Grill is the first pub since Marmaduke’s to succeed in attracting the true sailing crowd. Why do you think that is the case?

A: I think we paid our dues by supporting many regattas and sailing events. Giving T2P Productions their start by hiring them to film the Annapolis Yacht Club Wednesday Night Racing series also played a big part. Dave Gendell and Mary Ewenson of SpinSheet Magazine have always been great friends and supporters. I met with (former Marmaduke’s owner) Bill Heim several times and he was always gracious with his advice.

Q: You have decorated the Boatyard Bar & Grill with all sorts of sailboat racing memorabilia. How did you go about doing that?

A: First we went to the sail makers and local sailing pros. They were very generous in helping us collect great signed photos. Gary Jobson was instrumental in helping with that. We made a lot of trips to Key West and even shipped a skiff from St Barth’s back home.

Q: On that topic, what are some of your favorite maritime memorabilia items that are on display at the Boatyard?

A: I love the photo of Gary Jobson in the bath tub for a Dewars advertisement, but there are too many to mention. All sorts of locals have brought in photos and still do. I also treasure the original pennant from the Pride of Baltimore that we have on the wall.

Full story here.

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