July 1 (start date) – BEACH AVAILABILITY for Matapeake Beach & beaches located at Terrapin & Ferry Point Nature Preserve. Restricted to QAC residents only. www.qac.org.
June 13 – SPRING BEACH CLEANUP by KI Beach Cleanups. 8am-12N. Matapeake Beach & Matapeake Pier. www.kentislandbeachcleanups.com.
Kent Island’s bay front Matapeake Clubhouse will reopen this summer to beachgoers after having been closed last season due to county budget cuts. Matapeake Café will be open to the public from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
During their November 20 meeting, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners signed a three year lease with Steven and Tammy Holden, owners of the Smokehouse Grill catering company of Stevensville. Last fall the county solicited bids from the private sector to run the café during the summer months and to manage year-round the historic Matapeake Clubhouse and grounds which have become a popular venue for weddings, special events and private parties.
The Smokehouse Grill, which has been in business for 13 years, is known for its vast menu selections a few of which are pulled pork, pit beef, pit ham, smoked turkey, BBQ Chicken, prime rib, Maryland crab cakes, steamed crabs, shrimp and several varieties of fish. To see the company’s full menu and list of professional services provided to event clients visit www.thesmokehousegrill.net.
Located off of Route 8 south and Marine Academy Drive, Matapeake Beach is free to the public. In fact it is the only public beach in Queen Anne’s County. The Holdens said they are already planning a family affordable menu for beachgoers who can either dine-in at the clubhouse or take their meal to the beach. The café will be open beginning Memorial Day.
The Holden family lives in Queen Anne’s County and they firmly believe in supporting the community. “Our (catering and event planning business) employees are all local and we deal with local vendors, such as Ebb Tide Tent Rentals,” said Tammy Holden. “We try to keep our business in the county.”
Husband Steven said that even before leasing the Matapeake facility, their company has been hosting about 200 events annually. He said, “Now with this waterfront site we should be able to bring western shore brides over here for their weddings and that will also help our local businesses such as the hotels, restaurants, and shops.”
Chesapeake Lawn and Landscape, LLC sponsored the Matapeake Beach cleanup on Saturday July 23. Chesapeake Lawn and Landscape owner, Robert Woolley, said, “It was great to have so many friends and fellow community members turn out for such a great cause, cleaning up one of our local beaches.” The group turned out on one of the hottest days of the year to clear the beach of garbage and debris. Volunteer Diana Spake, who attended the clean up with her two sons Brett, 14, and Ryan, 15, said “It’s great to see a local business owner put so much time and effort into organizing such an event.” Along with the Chesapeake L & L staff and community volunteers, organizer Robert Woolley, solicited the help of the Kent Island High School Lacrosse Team, whom he coaches. Mark Fromert, a team father, said “It’s was great to see those young men volunteering.” Thanks to all who participated.
In picture – Front row – John Sedwick, Ray Liberto, Ryan Spake, Kevin Barron Back row – Brett Spake, Tom Sedwick, Melvin Gowl, Lisa Gowl, Lane Gowl, Mike Gowl, Robert Woolley, Dan Savanick, Zach Rosier, Lauren Krasco. Not pictured – Mark Fromert and Diana Spake