Samuel D. Taustin, 89, Ocean City entrepreneur

April 13, 2002

Samuel D. Taustin, a founder and owner of Taustin Enterprises Inc., which developed several popular Ocean City restaurants, a nightclub and a chain of candy stores, died Thursday of heart and kidney failure at his home in the Maryland resort. He was 89.

Born and raised in New York City, where he graduated from high school, Mr. Taustin settled in Wilmington, Del. His early enterprises included owning a drive-in movie theater and an amusement park.

In the late 1930s, he and his brother, Irving Taustin, who has since died, bought beachfront property at Ninth Street and the Boardwalk in Ocean City. He opened the Candy Kitchen Shoppe on the site in the early 1940s. Another shop was later located at Dorchester Street and the Boardwalk. The brothers later built a factory that made the candy sold in the stores.

Today, the chain has expanded to 28 shops from Virginia Beach, Va., to Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Mr. Taustin also established two popular restaurants, the Embers and the Bonfire, and founded the Blue Dahlia, one of the city's first nightclubs. He retired from active participation in his businesses after suffering a stroke in 1992.

"Sam had a special gift, a warmth and inner light that drew people toward him. He made everyone feel special," said a niece, Susan Antigone of Washington.

"He loved to frequent other business establishments to shake hands, have a drink and socialize," she said.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Holloway Funeral Home, 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury.

He is survived by a sister, Helen Taustin of Ocean City; two nephews, Jay Taustin and Richard Taustin, both of Ocean City; two other nieces, Arlene Advocat of Ocean City and Honey Goydas of New York City; and several grand-nephews and grand-nieces.

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