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Boatyard Bar & Grill

Boatyard Bar & Grill in Annapolis, Maryland features pint drinks and the freshest local seafood. Frequented by local sailors, fishers, and tourists alike, the restaurant offers an assortment of crab specialties, including cream of crab soup and its renowned crab cakes. The restaurant’s seaside atmosphere is created with wall art of marine life, including pictures and artifacts celebrating local sailors, fishers, boats, and of course, impressive fish.

Owner and ASBC member Dick Franyo says that the restaurant is designed to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay lifestyle, which he enjoyed while growing up on Chesapeake Bay. There, he became intimately connected with the natural environment of the Bay and the complex challenges that threaten it.

“As goes the bay, so goes us,” Franyo says. “If water runoff degrades the bay, that means no oysters, no crab, and no fish; no sailing, and no swimming, and no customers. We need to invest in clean water because it impacts how many people come to our restaurant.”

The problems facing Chesapeake Bay are complex, but Franyo is most concerned about nitrogen and phosphorous runoff from upstream, as well as stormwater runoff and sewage treatment impacting the bay.  Because these issues are so pervasive, Franyo believes that it makes good business sense for companies to support the environment they depend on. As part of this effort, Boatyard Bar and Grill donates a portion of its profits each year to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; a non-profit organization that unites a variety of stakeholders in advocating for pollution reduction in the bay.

Franyo believes that returning some of Boatyard’s profit back to protecting the natural environment is an extremely important part of the restaurant’s mission. “Poor water quality impacts our financial bottom line,” he says, “but it’s just as important that we leave a clean bay for our children and our grandchildren. All of our staff deeply believe this.”

In addition to its donations for advocacy work, Boatyard also takes pride in its practical composting program. The restaurant composts everything it possibly can, including oyster shells and food scraps.

“The reaction from customers has been extremely positive,” Franyo observes. “Customers like that we both talk the talk and walk the walk. People come here because they not only love our food, they like our environmental-oriented approach to business.

“By incorporating sustainability into our vision, we are setting a good tone for our customers, for our workers, and for the city of Annapolis.”

Franyo believes that it is imperative for other businesses become more involved in sustainability and policy issues.

“Every issue is political,” Franyo asserts. “We need more voices and more support from the sustainable business community if we ever want to accomplish our policy priorities.”

With Boatyard Bar & Grill and others like it leading the way, sustainable businesses can have a more powerful voice in the decisions that affect their futures, now and for generations to come.