New Mitchum’s Tavern opens in Trappe

TRAPPE – There’s a new actor on the Mid-Shore’s culinary scene. Mitchum’s Tavern opened on March 16 in this Talbot County town, offering local ingredients in a cinematic ambiance spiced with movie posters featuring its namesake, Hollywood star Robert Mitchum.
The actor once owned property and lived in the town when he wasn’t busy making films. His name was used for a previous eatery on the site, a steakhouse.

Owners Patrick Fanning, Todd Van Geluwe and G.L. Fronk decided to bring back Mitchum’s name for the new venture, which features regional favorites such as crab cakes, steak and fried chicken, as well as more exotic offerings, including Macao Duck Sampler and Prince Edward Island Mussels.

Regardless of the dishes, though, “We’re focused on keeping it as fresh and as local as possible,” Mr. Fronk said.
The restaurateurs are going the extra mile not only to keep it local, but to support the environment.

Mitchum’s Tavern is the “first almost 100 percent invasive species restaurant,” Chef Fanning said. For example, he said, “We have blue catfish and snakehead,” on the menu.

They are working with groups including local farmers, the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center and the True Blue – Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to show that they reliably make their dishes from Maryland crab meat.

“We’re trying to responsibly source products,” Mr. Van Geluwe said. “We feel good about it.”

“We’re eating our way to a cleaner bay,” Mr. Fronk said with a smile.

Mitchum’s is one of four attractions the team operates, along with a wine bar, charcuterie, and the Wild Game Room. They hope this will bring new visitors to the small town.

“We want to introduce people to Trappe,” Mr. Van Geluwe said.

The restaurant is located at 4021 Main St., phone 410-476-6202.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at

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