Restaurants & Institutions magazine has discovered what Phillips Harborplace customers have known for years: the Baltimore seafood restaurant is a very popular place.
So is Clyde's of Tysons Corner, the magazine found in its annual survey of the nation's 100 richest independent restaurants.
According to the just-released survey, Phillips Harborplace is the nation's fifth-largest restaurant in sales, dishing up $13.9 million of business a year.
Clyde's of Tysons Corner ranked 24th, selling $6 million in food and beverages yearly.
The survey included only independent restaurants and ranked them according to the revenue at their largest single unit.
Many of the restaurants are located in Florida and California, although five area eateries made the list. Busch's Chesapeake Inn in Annapolis ranked No. 62, with $3.6 million in annual business. Plata Grande in Beltsville and Rusty Rudder in Rehoboth Beach, Del., were tied at 75, each with $3.3 million in sales.
"Seafood is the most popular item served, followed by steak or prime rib," the magazine said.
Seafood is the specialty of Phillips Harborplace. "The Harborplace serves strictly seafood, and two family-owned packinghouses allow for the freshest selection," the magazine said.
In fact, the magazine noted, it was the packing business that led the Phillips family to enter the restaurant business. After inheriting the business, Brice Phillips opened a tiny carryout in Ocean City, Md., in 1957. Three more restaurants followed in Ocean City and then Harborplace in 1980. The company also has a restaurant in Norfolk's Waterside Mall, which serves nearly $6 million of seafood a year, company officials say.
Of the four restaurants run by the owners of Clyde's, the one at Tysons Corner -- the newest -- is pulling in the most money, according to co-owner John Laytham.