On The Town

Remembering Scunny McCusker

Mourning the loss of Nacho Mama's and Mama's on the Half Shell owner.

By Jess Mayhugh | August 27, 2012, 9:00 am

On The Town

Remembering Scunny McCusker

Mourning the loss of Nacho Mama's and Mama's on the Half Shell owner.

By Jess Mayhugh | August 27, 2012, 9:00 am

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

As Ron Cassie wrote about earlier, we were so incredibly saddened to hear about the death of Patrick "Scunny" McCusker, the owner of Nacho Mama's and Mama's on the Half Shell, who was killed riding a bicycle in Ocean City Friday night.

Our thoughts are with McCusker's family, close friends, and the tight-knit community that he built in Southeast Baltimore. Last year, I interviewed McCusker and asked him why he loved Canton, a neighborhood he was so instrumental in building when he opened Nacho Mama's 18 years ago:

Canton is like a small town they plucked out of the middle of suburbia and dropped into a city. The neighborhood has a real sense of itself, and a real sense of community. Plus, we have a waterfront for kayaking. We have a huge park for outdoor concerts. We have a lively square and tons of corner bars.

I opened Nacho Mama's 18 years ago and, along with the owners of Looney's, Claddagh, and Speakeasy, I've watched this neighborhood grow. When I first opened, a guy asked me why I was putting a Mexican restaurant in a Polish neighborhood. It's grown from that old-school, working-class feel to a place where people are settling down with their kids and raising families.

I have original customers of mine bringing in their grandkids now—which is a testament to the fact that people don't just live here, they stay here.

Thank you, Scunny, for creating that community. You will be sorely missed.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and memorial contributions can be made to the Hopkins Children House's Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation, 6601 Frederick Rd., Baltimore, 21228.

[Image: Scunny handing out a Natty Boh draft at the first "Tapping of the Keg," courtesy of The Daily Record]




Meet The Author
Jess Mayhugh is the digital editor for Baltimore, where she covers nightlife, sports, food, and events.

You May Also Like


News & Community

Beach Music

Scenes from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Maryland Science Center, and White Marlin Open.

The Birds Nest

Summit of the Boogs

And other top news in Baltimore sports this week.

Ravens Watch

Locals Have Mixed Reactions to National Anthem Protests

After the Ravens take a knee, the local community weighs in.


News & Community

Meeting of the Minds

Now in its sixth year, Baltimore Innovation Week continues to push the city’s tech scene forward.

News & Community

Bygone Baltimore

A look at the city 110 years ago.

On The Town

Greek Festival Will Introduce New Wine Program Next Weekend

Nearly 50 years old, the community event combines new attractions with old traditions.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Beach Music
Scenes from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Maryland Science Center, and White Marlin Open.

110 Years of Covering Baltimore
We celebrate a milestone and reflect on longevity.

Our Picks for the Best Fall Arts Events
The fall creative calendar is bursting with concerts, exhibits, and theatrical happenings.

Cameo: Bob Benson
We talk to the mirror artist from the American Visionary Art Museum.

A Gallery of Inspiration
In her rowhome and studio, artist Espi Frazier surrounds herself with objects that stir her.