Around the turn of the 20th century, Charles Rollins Bunting, great-grandfather of the present Buntings, purchased the property where the Angler Restaurant now stands. At that time there was no dock, only marsh grass through which the first Buntings pulled their sail bateaux and rowboats to shore.
While the elder Bunting worked on a fish pound boat, his five sons began the small fishing business. As business grew and a dock was needed, the Buntings were issued the first Ocean City dock building permit. Lumber was brought in from West Ocean City by a scow, for the only access to the island other than by water was over a narrow railroad bridge. When completed, the Bunting dock became a favorite relaxation spot. Local residents and visitors alike enjoyed sitting out over the quiet bay waters.
As the years wore on, the five sons went on to pursue their own careers. In the winter of 1934, his son, William, returned to Ocean City from North Carolina. A year later, he bought the house and property adjoining his father’s dock. There he built a small 20’ x 20’ building where he sold fishing bait, cool sodas and rented small boats. His wife, Louise, an enterprising young woman, started selling homemade pies. It soon became obvious that they needed to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Small tables were placed in the fishing office. It became a combined business venture.
Along came World War II. The Captain and his boat, the Angler, were called to serve in the Coast Guard. When he returned, he found that the storms had washed nearly all of the old dock away. A new dock and addition were built in 1945.
By the spring of that year, William and Louise Bunting’s only son, William Porter, came home from the Coast Guard and joined his parents in business. He captained the sport fishing boat, Sunshine, during the day and assisted in the operation of the restaurant during the evenings. His wife, Martha, participated in the family operation in much the same capacity as his mother. The four Buntings continued to run the business until the retirement of Bill, Sr. and Louise in 1971. Then, their twodaughters joined Bill and Martha. Now, five generations and 70 years later, Julie and Jayne’s children are learning the ropes of the family business.
Julie’s children Meegan Jayne, R.J., and Maura, along with Jayne’s son Porter are becoming integral parts of the Angler tradition.
Much of this history of the Angler Restaurant could not have been written without the loyalty and devotion from our staff. There are many who deserve accolades.The Bunting family looks forward to continuing to serve you, your children and their children in the manner to which they are committed. Of course, none of us would have needed to be here if it were not for our many, many friends who have patronized us faithfully for over 75 years. We, of the Angler, thank you.
312 Talbot St, Ocean City, MD, 21842 United States