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California, MD- Over the weekend The Greene Turtle celebrated its new location in California, MD by inviting nearby businesses, military members and their families, and first responders to a preview event where they unveiled their modern new design with a surprise twist.

As part of the design, the new restaurant features an entire wall spanning the back of the dining area bearing the names of St. Mary’s many towns, landmarks, schools, and local sports teams.

As restaurant franchiser Jamil Jamaldinian’s sixth Greene Turtle location he wanted to incorporate a more open and inviting atmosphere with lighter colors with pops of green.

Greene Turtle Wall. California, MD Credit: Catherine Willson / The Southern Maryland Chronicle

When diners arrived to the location they were treated to an appetizer and an entrée of their choosing on the house to welcome The Greene Turtle to St. Mary’s.

“It really brings [the community] together,” BobbiJo Trossbach, a member of the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad said of the restaurant’s decision to invite first responders out.

Trossbach brought her family out to experience The Greene Turtle for the first time and enjoyed “trying something different” in regards to the restaurant’s menu variety.

Around the building that used to house the former Cheeseburger in Paradise, flat screens lined the walls with various sports games and those that were seated at the booths found smaller TVs for personal viewing at their tables.

The restaurant’s bar is housed in the center of the main dining area with its large selection of beers, including several local brews – even one from Southern Maryland’s own Calvert. The round bar was built around the existing bar tap and decked out with a sleek modern design overhead as a centerpiece.

Stefanie Goings brought her band of retired military members to see what Jamaldinian and his team had done to one of their favorite hangouts and they weren’t disappointed by the local décor and modern update to the classic franchise.

Staff members waited enthusiastically on guests while wearing face coverings and using proper social distancing practices, which the restaurant was built for.

Designing the interior of the building for a post-COVID-19 environment allowed Jamaldinian the luxury of creating a space that allowed for the six-foot distance needed to keep staff and restaurant-goers alike safe.  

“I really like the tables being spaced out,” Collin Anderson, a member of the Maryland Guard said of the open floor plan as he dined with his family.

The Greene Turtle opens to the public Monday, October 5 where staff members will don their colorful Greene Turtle shirts and masks gifted to staff members with the restaurant’s logo.


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