Farewell, Bay ‘n Surf

While the former Bay ‘n Surf restaurant had sat vacant and crumbling since 2007, the shock of seeing it actually torn down today will undoubtedly leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many who remember it in its heyday—a time when it was the undisputed heavyweight champ of Maryland cream of crab soup.

bay n surf demolition 1-sharon nuzback

Photo: Sharon Nuzback

Videos courtesy of Chris Blucher


bay n surf demolition 2-dave deblasis

Photo: Dave DeBlasis

Photo: Sharon Nuzback

Photo: Sharon Nuzback


Photo: Sharon Nuzback

Photo: John Mewshaw

Photo: John Mewshaw

Originally opened in 1965, the restaurant closed after a refrigerator compressor fire in the early morning hours of Valentines Day, 2007. Speculation about reopening—even at another location—floated around for years, but never materialized.

The initial word on the street is that the site will soon be home to a new mini strip center, but there’s been no confirmation on potential tenants. (Sadly, I’m guessing none will offer cream of crab soup, though).

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11 thoughts on “Farewell, Bay ‘n Surf

  1. LaVonne Hanlon says:

    I took photos of it (way back) just because hubby & I enjoy visiting lighthouses and hey! we had one right here in Laurel (sorta). Loved their crab soup, but developed an allergy to soft shell seafood back in 2000 so stopped going there. (Yep–I am Steve’s mom!)

    • Richard Friend says:

      Hi, Mrs. Hanlon! Thanks so much for your note! If you’re able to find and scan your old Bay ‘n Surf photos, I’d love to see them—you can email me at richard_friend@mac.com. Hope all is well with your family!

      ~ Richard

  2. kdcaldwell63 says:

    Just what Laurel needs – yet another strip shopping center. I’d rather have a Sonic or Steak and Shake.

    I suppose one of the first tenants will be a nail salon. Could we at least get a Thai restaurant for a change?

  3. Rick Byrd says:

    I worked there for four years as a bartender in the 80’s-the ghost was supposed to be buried in the fireplace!

  4. LaVonne Hanlon says:

    So what’s the story of the ghost? I never heard there was one in there.

    • Rick Byrd says:

      Okay, here’s what I know-supposedly, the building was owned earlier by a Korean war vet who caught his wife cheating with his step-bro. Supposedly, he shot and killed him and his wife vanished. Supposedly, she was buried-or burned-in the fireplace. The new owner-and the guy I worked for-never talked about it, but had exorcisms done when things started getting creepy-knifes flying into walls etc… Now, my only two experiences in the 4 yrs. I worked there-a blackboard flew into the middle of the kitchen one night-and the creepiest was when a cocktail waitress ran out of the back bathroom screaming that a woman’s voice was heard over the ventilation grate! this lady was terrified and said she would never go in there again! This is a story someone should look into further! I wish I was there when they took that fireplace down-supposedly, a lady got her hair pulled by the fireplace, and one day all the glasses were on the floor, behind the bar-but no one broke in!

      • LaVonne Hanlon says:

        Thanks for sharing……we had a ghost of a dog who previously lived in a Maryland City home. I knew the dog and his owners. The wife died and the husband sold the house and took the dog and moved to SC to live with his elderly mother. Eleven years later the dog appeared in the bedroom of a 2 year old who was then living in the house. It took several sightings before the grandmother finally saw the dog that the little girl kept talking about. She immediately called me because she knew I was the first occupant on our street and asked if I knew if a black poodle ever lived there. After a few months the dog stopped appearing! I figure the dog had just died and came back looking for her mistress who had passed away, and finally realized she wasn’t there anymore.

      • Rick Byrd says:

        That is an amazing story, not only because it was a ghost, but the fact it was an animal. I have heard other stories of animal spirits as well, and think it is an interesting idea that we will see our pets once again! Just FYI-I have lots of ghost stories, too many to explain here, during my 30 years of bartending in creepy places!

      • LaVonne Hanlon says:

        I also know of several other ghost sightings including the young Indian (late teens-early 20’s) who has taken up residence in my daughter’s home in Severn. She researched and found that her house (built in 1995) is located on what was once an Indian village. He is a friendly ghost and even helps family members who misplace things. He has only been seen as a reflection in a mirror.

        I guess nothing unusual happened with the fireplace when the Bay ‘n Surf was torn down or if it did, it has not been publicized. One does have to wonder what becomes of a ghost when the residence is destroyed.

  5. Jack says:

    I’d been going to the Bay n Surf for years, first doing business in Laurel and then whenever the family and I drove to Florida from NY. In Spring of 2007, before we had left NY, my son asked if we were stopping for the cream of crab soup. I “joked” the place had burned down, an answer I had given him about most places he asked about! Well, the joke was on me 4 hours later when we drove up to what was left of the building.

    Truly a sad loss. (I still have the bumper sticker)

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