Steve Marchel and Robin Kramer both went to college in New England, he to Yale and she, University of Vermont. Though they didn’t know each other in those years, they unknowingly shared an individual love for all things New England, especially the classic seafood shacks dotting the coastlines and interior towns from Connecticut to Maine. Fast-forward about 35 years to today, they have continued their travels in recent years now as a couple, through New England, all of which invariably include stops for fresh seafood in many of the classic seafood shacks along their route.
As they shared fried whole-belly clams at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, ME, or Lobster Rolls at Lobster Landing in Clinton Ct or at Red’s Eats in Wicasset, ME, or fried scallops at Flo’s Clam Shack in Middletown RI, Steve would often say “Margate needs a joint like this, especially if it were on the water.” Well after years of flirting with the idea, the ideal location became available on the Bay in Margate and Betty’s Seafood Shack was born.
Steve had cut his teeth in the local food scene by co-founding Water Dog in Ventnor, which opened in 2019 and quickly carved-out a niche as a cool-vibe place serving creative and fresh food. About 7 years earlier, Steve had co-founded Chido Burrito in Northfield, which is still a favorite among locals in its 13th year. Water Dog’s mascot, and face of the restaurant is Betty, Steve’s cherished Portuguese Water Dog, who passed in 2018. Water Dog’s branding and signage includes an image of Betty with a whole salmon in her mouth, as she did love her some salmon.
Similarly, Betty’s Seafood Shack will use Betty as its mascot, but now she will have a whole lobster in her mouth. Robin and Steve often lamented the fact that the area didn’t have a cool place where you can get an order of great fried or sautéed seafood without breaking the bank or a traditional New England Lobster Roll served in a box with fries and slaw, while looking at the water. Why were there so many great choices of seafood shacks throughout New England and not one on our island or for that matter either of the islands to the north and south of Absecon Island along the Jersey Shore. They decided to open a shack like the ones they so loved all throughout New England where friends and families could gather to enjoy reasonably priced, well-prepared fried and sautéed seafood served with fries and slaw etc, like the ones they enjoyed visiting during their many trips up to New England. The idea of Betty’s Seafood Shack began to evolve, even before the location in Margate was secured. When the lease was finalized at the end of 2022 for a great space on the bay in Margate, they were off and running, planning to open in the Spring of ’23.
Betty’s menu features classic New England dishes like Lobster roll, fried shrimp, scallops, clams, cod, and will also offer sautéed choices as well as great appetizers, like local steamers, colossal u-8 shrimp cocktail, and their take on a traditional stuffed Quahog, and so much more. Homemade New England and Manhattan Clam chowdahs will be available, as well as some non-seafood choices, salads, and a kids menu. Desserts will include frozen key lime pie, served on a stick, dipped in a chocolate shell, and housemate killer chocolate pudding (Robin’s recipe). It will be a BYOB restaurant, so patrons can enjoy their favorite beverage while watching Margate’s incredible sunsets from our Bayfront outdoor seating. Ordering and pick-up will be though our service windows or inside the restaurant. Seating is available inside as well as on picnic benches in the front of the building and along our 2 railing counters overlooking the bay behind the building.