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Chick and Ruth's Delly will remain open after owner's sudden passing, but what's next?

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 18:16:32-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Chick and Ruth's Delly in the heart of Annapolis, is the most iconic restaurant in town. However, the new beloved owner, Keith Jones, recently passed away and now people are wondering what will happens next.

When you're in Chick and Ruth's Delly, you can lose track of time. This famous eatery got it's start in 1965 and when you sit down for a meal you can pick any decade from the 60's on and the place looks relatively the same.

Chick and Ruth's was sold to Jones in 2017, but Jones died suddenly at 58 years old and now his son, Spencer Jones, will take over the business with the existing private partners. Now, his son is also having to answer the same questions his father did in 2017: What changes are you going to make?

"We're not looking to reinvent the wheel here. Chick and Ruth's has been around and successful a lot longer than I've been alive and so I'm not going to be coming in here to make a bunch of changes," said Spencer Jones. "We're gonna keep doing what we've been doing for a long time."

Spencer works for a healthcare software company in Wisconsin and he'll try to move to Annapolis after he gets things sorted out. In the meantime, the same management, kitchen and wait staff will carry on as always. Some changes have been made to the website to help with carryout and to ship those famous crab cakes.

It needed some updating to make it a little easier for people. They are trying to get their crab cake shipped to them and their family members," said General Manager Erica Hayden. "We ship to all 50 states and we are just trying to make it easy to do so."

"When you think of Annapolis, you think of Chick and Ruth's. I mean they are a major staple," said Brian Jacobs.

It is a difficult time with Jones's sudden passing and it's not the time to mess with success.

We're gonna try to keep the same successful formula we've had for decades," said Spencer Jones.