Captain Bender's

January 29, 2011|By HARRY NOGLE

Captain Raleigh Bender was a C&O Canal boatsman during the 1800s and proprietor of Captain Benders in Sharpsburg. Since 1936, Captain Benders Tavern has fed the hungry, quenched the thirsty and served the historic community of Sharpsburg and the surrounding area.

A little more a year ago, owner Steve Kemmet bought and remodeled Captain Benders.

“I want this to be a fun place, a place where everybody can hang out and have fun,” Kemmet said.

And Captain Benders Tavern is a “fun place.”

Captain Benders Tavern is a warm and cozy place with natural wood wainscoting, a tin ceiling and a long bar on the right. The back bar is reputed to have come from a steamship. Four-person tables and high-tops seat about 50 guests.

Kemmet has added a 30-seat beer garden in the rear for smokers, and for outdoor dining and drinking in warmer weather.    

He has added dart boards and a game room that features shuffleboard, Foosball, Beer Pong and electronic bowling. The game room also holds three big-screen televisions.

Three dart teams play at Captain Benders Tavern in the Eastern Panhandle Dart League.  Three 9-ball and two 8-ball teams play pool in the American Poolplayers Association.

A unique feature of Captain Benders Tavern is Kemmet's 15-person shuttle van that he uses to pick up and drop off customers.

“I use it all the time,” Kemmet said. “I will pick up and drop off customers within a five-mile radius.  

Guests will enjoy Captain Benders Tavern happy-hour specials Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  
Live entertainment is available throughout the month. Every Friday, DJ Bob provides entertainment and karaoke from 9 p.m. to midnight. Musicians perform live Saturday nights from 9 to midnight.

Guests will want to try the new tavern menu at Captain Benders. The menu includes succulent burgers, tasty appetizers and a tempting array of delicious soups, salads, sides and desserts. Wednesdays are all-you-can-eat wing night.

“Every Friday is prime rib night,” Kemmet said. “We have king and queen cuts. We have soups for lunch every day. All of our food and drink specials can be found on our website and our Facebook page.”

Captain Benders Tavern is a unique Tavern with an off-site liquor license.

“We are in the process of implementing a program where customers can special-order their favorite spirits by Tuesday, and we will have it ready for pickup on Friday by 5 p.m.,” Kemmet said.

“I have always wanted my own Cheers (the 1980s sitcom that took place in a bar in Boston),” Kemmet said. “I want a place where customers can feel at home and feel welcome.”

Captain Benders Tavern is located at 111 E. Main St., Sharpsburg. The tavern is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday noon to midnight. Call 301-432-5813 or visit

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