Tue07292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Wilkerson’s is open for 2014 season

After a brief winter break, Wilkerson's Restaurant is open for business and again providing residents and visitors to Colonial Beach with mouth-watering seafood and a warming waterfront atmosphere.


Wilkerson's, one of Colonial Beach's oldest restaurants, is a seven-days-a-week family business that closes after Thanksgiving to give its employees a break and prepare for the next year. It reopened on Friday, Jan. 25, to begin its 2014 season and its 68th year of business.

"We always close for a while," said owner Jim Wilkerson. "Dec. is a slow month for us, and it gives us a chance to clean and upgrade our equipment."

Wilkerson and his family have operated the popular seafood restaurant since 1946. His father, Walter, returned to Colonial Beach after serving in World War II as an Army Air Force pilot. Walter, and his father, Herbert, opened the restaurant, as well as a seafood business, and it quickly became a family venture.

The two senior Wilkersons passed away in the 70s, but Jim and his son, Jay, have continued to operate the restaurant that is known especially for its crab cakes, fried shrimp and broiled rockfish. The restaurant is located on the banks of the Potomac River at 3900 McKinney Blvd near the Colonial Beach town limits on State Route 205.  

The restaurant was badly damaged in 2003, when it was struck by the winds and water of Hurricane Isabel. The storm was one of the most damaging in years and its toll on the area, including the closing on the nearby Happy Clam restaurant, was shocking.

"We were closed from the 19th of September until April 1st to repair the damage," said Wilkerson. "We had people working seven day a week, including Christmas, trying to get repairs done."

Ready and raring to go for the 2014 seafood season, Wilkerson's will again feature delicacies like jumbo snow crab legs, steamed blue crabs and fried oysters. It has an expansive salad bar and a dessert menu that features homemade apple pie à la mode, among other treats.

For the first two decades of Wilkerson's operation, the family also sold crabs, crabmeat and oysters, as part of a seafood delivery business that served customers throughout the Baltimore and Washington areas.

However, the family eventually phased out its seafood business to concentrate on making the restaurant a regional favorite.

The restaurant, which employs as many as 30 people during the peak season, opens at 11:30 a.m., seven days a week.  It provides great food and a wonderful waterfront view for customers and is available for large parties or receptions. The restaurant phone number is (804) 224-7117.

 


—Richard Leggitt

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