OCEAN CITY, MD. - A family favorite seafood restaurant on the Eastern Shore will soon be trading in its crab cakes and lobsters for quesadillas and tacos, and it's left local residents stunned.
Phillips Seafood House in Ocean City surprised hundreds of people on Wednesday after they announced they'll be turning their beloved seafood restaurant into a Mexican Eatery.
"Tourists and locals alike can enjoy the same seafood experience and then offer another concept as we move into the season and we came up with Mexican since it has been trending at this point," said Corporate Director of Marketing and Business Development for Phillips Food and Restaurants Michelle Torres.
After posting the announcement on their Facebook page, the comments came rolling in, and some just aren't on board with the change.
"I'm very surprised and disappointed. Phillip's has been a part of Ocean City for many years. I've probably been coming down for 50 something years and Phillip's has always been here with seafood," said Ocean City visitor Mike Mitchell.
"That's a trademark of Ocean City Maryland it's hard to believe that they're actually getting rid of it," said Ocean City visitor Diane Ensley.
Others say they're willing to give the new restaurant a try.
"I'm a big fan of Mexican food so I'll definitely try it out," said visitor Stephen Roberts.
But there is still some good news, the restaurant chain's other location in Ocean City, Phillips Crab House located on 21st street, will not be changing its menu and will stick to the same seafood buffet concept.
"We still have the other Phillips to go to, so it might be nice for a change for people who prefer Mexican over seafood, because there's a lot of seafood places in Ocean City," said visitor Sarah Hopkins.
And although it may be a restaurant residents will miss, they hope the new concept will become another family tradition.
"Hopefully if people like it the tradition will carry on because here in Ocean City, Maryland traditions are the same and you do the same things so hopefully I wish them the best of luck," said Ensley.
We're told The Bayside Cantina will debut its new look on May 1st just in time for Cinco De Mayo.
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