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.”
By Avra Sullivan
Planning a major event such as a wedding, family reunion or fundraiser can be a formidable task. One stop shopping can help. Working side by side, husband and wife team Tammy and Steve Holden operate a full service catering company capable of handling any size event, be it for 30 people or 300,000. The Smokehouse Grill was originally founded in 1999 and focuses on private catering and event planning. With 4 catering teams running 7 trucks, they handle all levels of events from weddings, golf tournaments, and fundraisers, to private parties, and sporting events across Maryland, D.C., Delaware and Virginia. Their dedication to customer service and their staff of nearly 30 well trained and experienced employees has helped the Smokehouse become one of the most sought after event production companies in the area. “An average Saturday for us can include three weddings.” says Steve. Out of the 200 plus events they do a year, Tammy estimates about 40-50 are weddings. “By offering everything, the bride has one contract, one deposit and one person to work with, eliminating a lot of stress,” explains Steve. The Smokehouse Grill supplies all rental necessities including tables, linens, chairs, glassware and decorations. They have also catered the Nationwide PGA Tour in the past and are the official caterer for the infield party at the Preakness Race in Baltimore. The Smokehouse grill has an extensive menu offering everything from BBQ, seafood, salads, steaks, to finger foods and a full beverage selection and can provide delivered box lunches as well. “The unique thing that sets us apart is we bring all of the food to the event fresh and prepare and serve everything right on site,” says Steve. They also make it easy and simple to navigate the often stressful job of planning a large event. Their website offers detailed pricing and information, and all of the artwork on the site is directly from events they have produced. Two sites, one that handles general catering and one more specifically designed for wedding and formal events, gives the client a solid base of information in getting started. Teamwork is also essential to making them successful. Tammy says that they work great together, “keeping each other in check and putting their ideas together.” Their staff, all of whom are local and have been with the Smokehouse for several years, are also experienced in multi-tasking, able to set up, serve and break down an event, quickly and efficiently before heading to the next one.
A major addition to the Smokehouse Grills is the recent acquisition of the Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach in Stevensville. The Smokehouse Grill will now have this waterfront venue to offer for weddings, fundraiser or other special events. They also plan to open the café and are very excited to have this to extend to their customers.
For full information on the Smokehouse Grill, you can visit their website at www.thesmokehousegrill.com or give Tammy or Steve a call at 410-643-6851. You can also find them on Facebook.