Mr. Arthur Wells Webb Jr., “Awful Arthur,” quietly passed away Saturday, July 23, at his home in St. Michaels, Md. Ironically, it may be the first time in his life he ever did anything quietly.
Endearingly nicknamed “Awful” by his stepfather, Arthur grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He was a restless youth, who loved fast women and fast cars more than the slow paced living the Eastern Shore provided. He had a calling for something bigger. And Awful Arthur wasn’t satisfied with dreaming big, he was going to be big.
The famous restaurateur opened his first restaurant, Awful Arthur’s Sub Shop, in 1975 in his home town of Exmore. He was just 22 years old. That was only the beginning.
Over the course of the next four plus decades, Arthur would open dozens of successful (and a couple duds) restaurants up and down the East Coast, including St. Michaels, where he opened two successful restaurants in the early 2000s, Taste Gourmet Deli and Foxy’s Harbor Grille, which is currently owned by his dear friend, Terye Knopp.
In recent years, Arthur gave slowing down a shot. He began designing restaurants and commercial kitchens for his good friends, Ted and Phyllis Creighton, at Chesapeake Equipment in Cambridge, Md. But that didn’t last long.
In the spring of 2015, Arthur returned to his adopted hometown of St. Michaels. There, he would open his Swan Song restaurant, Awful Arthur’s St. Michael’s at 402 S. Talbot St. The restaurant was an instant success and is one of the “go to” dining destinations in the busy tourist town.
Little known about Arthur is his largesse. Even though he moved away from his small-town upbringing decades ago, he never lost his roots. In recent years he has organized multiple fundraisers supporting the Randy Custis Memorial Fund at the Moose Lodge in Exmore. In St. Michaels, he has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for local volunteer fire departments and other charities. He was a member of countless service and social organizations including the Exmore Moose Lodge #683, Exmore Elks Lodge #1584, the Miles River Yacht Club in St. Michaels, and was a charter member of The Kent Narrows Fishing Club.
Arthur never met a stranger and always had a kind word, even if he didn’t like you. He lived the life Jimmy Buffet sings about. Living every moment of every day to the fullest, he touched the hearts of every person he met. Arthur was never a dreamer, he lived. And he did it on his terms.
Arthur is survived by three children, Arthur W. Webb III and his fiancé, Hilary N. Hansen, Chelsea W. Hall and her husband, Tyler, and Hunter Webb; sister, Debbie Ashby, and her husband, Chris; brother, Billy Webb; five grandchildren, Alysia K. Fraser, Isla A. Webb, Gunner E. Hall, Archer W. Hall, and Getty Elliot Webb; two nephews, Brian Sawyer and his fiancé, Wendy Bowden, and Kyle Sawyer; niece, Cara Leigh Denham; five great-nieces and great-nephews, Makaila Sawyer, Lauren Sawyer, Ashley Collins, Virginia Sawyer, and Kyle “K.J.” Sawyer; his brother from another mother, Lamont Thomas; and his entire Awful Arthur’s family. He was predeceased by his father, Arthur Wells Webb Sr.; mother, Nancy Savage Webb Justis; and stepfather, Garmon T. Justis.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at 11 a.m., at the Exmore Moose Lodge #683, 15315 Merry Cat Lane, Belle Haven, with the Rev. Bob Boyce officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Randy Custis Memorial Park Fund, P.O. Box 243, Nassawadox, VA 23413, or www.randycustispark.com/donate
An “Awful Celebration of Life” will be held Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, from 6 p.m. till, at Foxy’s Harbor Grille, 125 Mulberry St., St Michaels, MD 21663. Please email Foxy’s with any photos you would like to include to [email protected]
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.doughtyfuneralhome.com