Brice Phillips dies at 90

Brice Phillips, founder of Phillips Seafood in Baltimore, died July 1. He was 90.

Born on Hooper’s Island, Md., into a family that earned its living from the water, Phillips opened Phillips Crab House in Ocean City, Md., in 1956 with his wife Shirley, using the crabs from his family’s seafood processing plants to prepare the restaurant’s signature crab cakes.

Phillips Crab House soon expanded to cover a city block and seat 1,200 people.

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From there Phillips built a company that now processes crab from all over the world, sells a line of retail products under the Phillips Seafood brand name and operates or franchises 19 restaurants, including the Phillips Seafood Restaurant in Baltimore at the Inner Harbor, one of the top-grossing independent restaurants in the country.

Phillips received a number of awards and honors over the years. Among them were a Doctorate of Hospitality from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; a Doctorate of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management from the Baltimore International College; a resolution from the state of Maryland recognizing his service on the Chesapeake Bay Trust; the 2008 Citizen of the year award from the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce; Induction into the Maryland Business Hall of Fame by the state’s chamber of commerce; the Henry L. Dunnick Award from the Restaurant Association of Maryland for enhancing the national reputation of the state’s cuisine, and restaurateur of the year from that same association.

Phillips is survived by his wife Shirley, sons Stephen and Jeffrey, daughters-in-law Maxine and Janet, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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