Restaurateur Al Jordan’s devotion to the restaurant industry stems from his genuine excitement for his business. Jordan has applied his enthusiasm and innovative approach to the hospitality business for the past nine years at Jordan’s Rooftop Restaurant. Jordan’s Rooftop is located on the top floor of the Fenwick Inn at 138th St. and Coastal Highway in Ocean City.

Jordan uses a carefully blended mix of entertainment, great food and casual atmosphere to attract and hold a group of loyal followers.

The past two holidays were the kick off to another year of entertainment at Jordan’s Rooftop. The program is appropriately named, Jordan’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Entertainment Series. This year’s series began with Michael Hoover’s “Memory of Elvis” shows for the Martin Luther King Weekend and Presidents Weekend.

Jordan’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Entertainment Series is Ocean City’s longest running entertainment series that features the great names of the entertainment business. For Al Jordan, this is one of tru8Œ&Mac220;

Jordan’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Entertainment Series features nationally recognized performers such as the Platters, the Hubcaps and Chubby Checker. These artists and others have returned for several seasons to perform at Jordan’s Rooftop. Al Jordan has had the chance to get to know many of them quite well. “Chubby Checker is my favorite entertainer because he is a wonderful person and a great performer,” said Jordan. “The audience loves Chubby and he appreciates the acclaim he receives.”

The excitement of hosting such shows has not affected Jordan’s main goal. “It is amazing to me that I have had some of the most famous rock and roll groups play in my restaurant. Over the years, however, I have found that my main concern is making sure the customers are being taken care of. Every now and then I’ll catch a show,” said Jordan. “The Platters do a fantastic job performing; they are another great band from the past. The Platters still pack them in today because they have maintained their talent and ability to please an audience.” Jordan also makes sure he models their “pleasing-power” in the service he provides in his own business.

“Herb Reed, one of the original Platters, has shared some very interesting stories from performing for so many years. He knows Diana Ross and other notable entertainers. He has told me some stories of his travels on the concert circuit. He is probably the most interesting entertainer to talk to because he has seen it all,” said Jordan. “When you’re dealing with people, especially entertainers, there is always something going on.”

Although the restaurant industry in Ocean City is highly competitive, Jordan was able to make his mark early at Jordan’s Rooftop Restaurant.

“I really surprised myself the first year and each year thereafter has gotten better,” said owner Jordan. “We offer a menu selection that includes reasonably priced items, high quality products and an atmosphere which appeals to families. This combination seemed to hit a responsive cord with those who visit Ocean City.”

A seasoned veteran who started out in the kitchen at the age of 16, it was right after his 23rd birthday that Jordan decided, “If I am going to stay in the restaurant business, I am going to try to be the best.”

At that time the former engineering student noticed that the field was getting exciting. “Theme restaurants were popular, the food was becoming fun and chefs were getting really creative,” said Jordan.

“I put my civil engineering degree on hold and concentrated on going to seminars and workshops to gain more knowledge about the restaurant business,” said Jordan. “I approached the field with my eyes wide open.”

Although the restaurant industry was not one of Jordan’s earliest childhood dreams, he became enamored with the field while working as a bus boy in one of the first landmark restaurants in Fenwick Island.

“My passion for the restaurant business actually evolved at the age of 16 while I was working at The Lighthouse Restaurant in Fenwick Island,” said Jordan. “The restaurant business opened my eyes to a whole new way of life.”

Jordan has gained much of his restaurant knowledge from “hands on” experience. As a former general manager and vice-president of a locally famous restaurant group and as an imaginative independent restauranteur, the prolific Jordan had a guiding hand in founding eleven different restaurants.

Each restaurant had a unique concept and fare. “The food varied according to customer demand,” said Jordan.

These experiences taught him many important things about the restaurant business. “During a period of expansion, we were operating five restaurants at one time. We realized that you can only be in one restaurant at a time, so we decided to scale down our operation by selling some of the restaurants,” said Jordan. “We were then able to concentrate on one or two and do a better job at them.

Because of Jordan’s depth of restaurant experience, Jordan’s Rooftop is his greatest masterpiece. “I pulled a little from each restaurant. I really thoroughly enjoy cooking and putting together meals, and then hearing comments from my customers,” he said. “I have learned that if the product and service are not there, people will not come back because of the fierce competition in the restaurant business.”

Last year, Jordan celebrated those “great years” by showcasing “the new look” of Jordan’s Rooftop Restaurant with a new contemporary decor.

Jordan’s Rooftop features a variety of specials ranging from seafood to snacks. They offer both a lunch and dinner selection containing salads, soups, platters and entrees featuring shrimp, pasta, beef, prime rib, and sandwiches.

One of the most popular snacks to get started with are the Pennsylvania Mushroom Caps stuffed with a generous portion of Crab Imperial. Daily soups consist of Maryland Crab, crabmeat combined with seasonal local garden vegetables, and also available, a steaming crock of onion soup topped with melted Provolone cheese.

Salads include a Caesar salad, chilled romaine lettuce with homemade croutons and Caesar dressing, and also the shrimp salad, large pieces of shrimp combined with seasonings and dressings to enhance the flavor of shrimp to its finest, served stuffed in a tomato.

A favorite platter featured at Jordan’s Rooftop is the Seafood Feast, broiled or fried, includes fresh broiled flounder, scallops, crab cake, shrimp, and steamed clams. All platters are served with fresh baked breads and two of the following: applesauce, baked potato, French fries, homemade coleslaw, or vegetable du jour.

Lobster Platters and Combos are also available. Two of the featured platters are Lobster Combo I, containing rock lobster tail, crab cake scallops and flounder, all broiled, or Lobster Combo II, featuring broiled rock lobster tail, two broiled stuffed shrimp and steamed clams. Each dinner entree is accompanied by homemade fresh baked breads and a choice of regular, shrimp, or crab Caesar, or a tossed salad and one of French fries, baked potato, Cole slaw, applesauce, or vegetable. Some entrees include broiled lobster tail which can be stuffed with the crab imperial, seasoned crabmeat broiled to perfection. Also the Maryland crab cakes or the broiled seafood medley, 4 oz. lobster tail, scallops and shrimp broiled in wine and butter.

Daily selections of fresh fish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Swordfish, Steak Salmon, and Atlantic, can be chosen and prepared broiled, blackened, Cajun blackened or fried. Another specialty is the half-pound of spiced steamed shrimp served with cocktail sauce.

Filet Mignon and the Porterhouse steak are two of the beef items on the menu. The Filet Mignon is a 9 oz. choice center cut topped with fresh sautéed mushrooms and the Porterhouse, 22 oz. aged beef, succulent and tender, our finest cut, cooked to perfection can be either charbroiled or Cajun blackened.

The Prime Rib and Stuffed Shrimp Combo is another favorite, 7 oz. rib and stuffed shrimp topped with crab imperial. Also try the Chicken Imperial, boneless chicken breast lightly breaded, stuffed with crab imperial and baked, topped with mushroom sauce.
For the pasta lover, try the Linguini with white clam sauce, tender clams, imported olive oil, garlic, parsley, and herbs in white sauce, served over fresh linguini, also comes accompanied by homemade fresh baked breads, and a choice of regular, crab, or shrimp Caesar, or a tossed salad.

For a lunch time special try the Chicken Salad Sandwich, tender chunks of breast blended in a mixture of dressing and celery, served on a homemade roll or stuffed in a tomato, served with French fries.

There is a daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m., in bar only, featuring $1.99 1/2 lb. spiced shrimp and on Fridays complementary fresh roast beef sandwiches from 5 p.m. until gone.
Check out the view from the upper deck on the rooftop. Additional services offered by Jordan’s Rooftop include their famous Sunday Brunch, Weddings, Class Reunions, Anniversaries, Meetings, Luncheons and Special Parties.

Jordan also realized that the restaurant business can be very stressful and has developed a health regimen that matches his busy schedule.

“I begin each day with an hour on the treadmill and 15 minutes of floor exercises because I know I have to be healthy in order to compete,” said Jordan. “I started this about five years ago to keep my energy level up, so I could effectively run my business.”
Jordan’s Rooftop offers a large menu with specialties such as live lobster, fresh fish and prime rib. The rooftop restaurant also features prime rib combination platters, crabcakes, chicken, burgers, seafood salads and pasta dishes such as linguini with seafood.

In addition, Jordan’s Rooftop features about five dinner specials nightly.

“We offer grilled and broiled fish and other popular menu items for the health conscious diner, but we also cater to vacationers who are often in a different mindset. They’re relaxed and follow different rules at the beach, “ said Jordan. “Vacationers like to try different places while they’re in Ocean City, but I frequently hear customers saying they wish they would have eaten more of their meals at Jordan’s Rooftop.”

Many types of people are attracted to Jordan’s Rooftop.

“Guests of Fenwick Inn stop up for a meal, locals come in to select a live lobster from our tank for their dinner, and we’re always getting new customers who have come for the live entertainment,” said Jordan.

“We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner; have our happy hour in the bar, and host live entertainment,” said an enthusiastic Jordan. “I like to watch people get excited about trying my restaurant.”

“People will come for a show and then realize they are surrounded by lobster tanks and a restaurant that they haven’t tried before. These same people usually come back once they know we are here.”

On occasion, guests can see Al Jordan walking through the restaurant greeting his clientele, but more than likely he will be in the kitchen.

“I love to cook fish and I have trained my cooks to prepare meals accordingly,” said Jordan.

Jordan’s Rooftop offers a spacious, yet intimate atmosphere. Floor to ceiling windows surrounding the restaurant provide a spectacular bay to ocean view. It clearly offers one of the best visual perspectives of Ocean City.

Located on the top floor of the Fenwick Inn at 138th St. and Coastal Highway, diners can view Ocean City from eight stories up, while enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jordan’s is open seven days a week. The Sunday Brunch Buffet is a vacationer’s favorite.

For more information Jordan’s Rooftop and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Series call (410) 250-1867.