When George “Bumps” Snyder and his wife “Sis” opened the first “Willow Grove” in 1937, it was not far removed from the peace and serenity of the clusters of weeping willow trees which nestled along the banks of the Patapsco River. Hence the name for the then neighborhood tavern and eating place which was located across from the present restaurant, on the east side of Hammonds Ferry Road.
On Palm Sunday of 1944, a fire completely destroyed the building and some three months later, in the summer of the same year, the new Willow Grove opened up across the road at its present site. In 1964, the kitchen was enlarged and the still relatively small eating area was completely remodeled. Major expansion was undertaken in 1970 when the two main dining rooms were added to the existing building.
June 22, 1972 is a date many Americans will long remember with sadness. That was the day Hurricane Agnes ripped up the coast of the Eastern United States in perhaps the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Situated near the bed of the Patapsco River, Snyder”s was especially hard hit. The entire building was inundated with seventeen feet of water, which completely destroyed the banquet rooms and the interior furnishings of the dining areas. Once again, however, the family overcame the adversity and the refurbished Willow Grove reopened in mid-September.
Tragedy struck again in September of 1975 when Hurricane Eloise unleashed her havoc on much of the area. Her wrath was not as great as her predecessor Agnes, but the Willow Grove was still almost entirely submerged in thirteen feet of water. Undaunted, Snyder’s reopened on December 4th with completely remodeled dining and banquet areas and more elegant bar and lounge.
The present restaurant has a seating capacity of 150 persons in the three dining rooms and can accommodate an additional 70 in the bar and lounge. Banquet facilities are also available for up to 300 in an area which can be utilized as one large or three smaller rooms.
Times have changed. The willow trees have long since succumed to the path of progress. Today, Willow Grove enjoys a reputation as a quality family restaurant, drawing its clientele from a large segment of the greater metropolitan area.
However, the warmth and friendliness of the Snyder family, which have characterized the operation of the buisness from its earliest days, are still very much present. Not only was “Sis” very active, but her sons and grandchildren, Kimberly and Vernon Jr., have added the enthusiasm and interest of a second and third generation, while maintaining the personal contact with customers, which has played so large a part in the restaurant’s success.
Snyder’s Willow Grove is totally committed to the philosophy of serving you, the customer, in as friendly and accommodating a manner as possible.
Please call 410-694-9449
Gift Certificates Available
A Baltimore Tradition........Quality Family Dining and Superior Service