Suicide Serves Seafood and Sternwheeler Success | Dorchester County EDA

When Cambridge-based Kool Ice & Seafood Company President Dave Nickerson decided to purchase a small restaurant on Cabin Creek near Secretary Maryland in 1983, he was looking for a venue to feature prepared dishes of the local fish, crabs and oysters his company sold over the counter. After 30 years – and multiple additions – the 400-seat restaurant is now a thriving Dorchester business and a popular destination for Eastern Shore residents and tourists alike.

Nickerson’s nephew, long-time General Manager Craig Cropper, lauds the restaurant’s loyal customer base for their success and credits their scenic location and renowned seafood saying, “We have a great word of mouth reputation. People venture out to find the restaurant with the unusual name – but it’s our great seafood that keeps them coming back.” Cropper cites “crab cakes, crab imperial, crab au gratin, crab stuffed fish, all things crab” as their most popular dishes.

In 1998, Nickerson purchased the Dorothy Meagan, the first of two authentic sternwheeler riverboats now docked outside the restaurant. The Choptank Riverboat Company offers river cruises from mid-April through October to Cambridge and along the Choptank.

With two riverboats, an outside event pavilion and an expansive main restaurant, Suicide Bridge employs 100+ people in the high season. From weddings, murder-mystery cruises, crab feasts and the always-crowded Friday Night seafood buffet, the year-round business has more than tripled in three decades.

Cropper and Nickerson believe in supporting other local businesses. In addition to serving Layton’s Chance wine and Smith Island Baking Company cakes, the restaurant’s extensive art collection includes a half-dozen sculptures by Dorchester metal artist Paul Lockhart.

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