Wheelhouse owners Bryn and Scott Ponti were in two radically different careers prior to taking the leap that would become the Wheelhouse restaurant. Scott had worked decades in masonry, and Bryn was a special education teacher. They had no formal plans to open a restaurant, until they were out for dinner one night in the quaint town of Rock Hall, Maryland.
Dinner that night led them to a small restaurant for sale on the left side of the road from the water and the harbor. Feeling that energy, that gut instinct that encourages you to follow your curiosity and wonder, they looked at the small little restaurant and were instantly flooded with ideas. At that point, the rest was history.
Speaking of history, the Ponti’s soon realized, in a series of very odd synchronicities, that one of them had very deep family lineage in that exact same area.
Scott’s grandfather, Francis “Dick” Zane was a lifelong sailor who found himself in the harbors of Rock Hall at the Sailing Emporium Marina. After his passing, the Sailing Emporium commissioned a hefty wooden stand dedicated to the sailors that had come through. At the top was his name engraved in a small brass metal plate, along with small metal tags with the names of about 40 other sailors who had passed below him. At the top of this hefty wooden stand, was a statement-making model ship proudly bore of brass; indicating the passion and nautical familiarity this group of sailors had with Rock Hall.
Bryn, knowing that somewhere out there in Rock Hall was this commissioned piece dedicated to his grandfather and other fallen sailors, began her search. It led her to an old storage shed on the sight of the newest Rock Hall marina, Haven Harbor South, where the piece boldly stood, waiting to be shown again proudly by the lineage of who it was brought into existence for.
Some would say that it’s meant to be, some would say that everything happens for a reason, and some would say that it’s just a coincidence. But one thing is obvious, Scott and Bryn were guided by a special force to the Wheelhouse to maintain its legacy and to keep serving the people of Rock Hall, who come by land and sea, once and for all.