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


The Chatter

'Marshall’ Director and Star Discuss Legendary Civil Rights Lawyer

Legal thriller built around Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall hits the big screen.

The Chatter

Bike Share Temporarily Shut Down

Theft, vandalism and maintenance issues force retooling on cusp of one-year anniversary of city program.

The Chatter

New Body Scanners Placed in Maryland Prisons to Reduce Violence

The advanced technology will minimize illegal activity within prisons.


Arts District

David Simon Discusses New HBO Series The Deuce

Co-creator talks about his creative process and what he’s working on next.

On The Town

Fells Point Fun Festival Returns with Scaled Back, Hyper Local Approach

In the midst of Broadway Square revamp, organizers get back to its roots.

In Good Taste

Restaurants and Shops Support Hurricane Harvey Relief

From promotions to benefit shows, the community is taking action to help.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Sip Tips: Fall Finds
Three autumnal wines to get you in the mood for seasonal change.

The Book Thing Bounces Back
A Baltimore literary institution gets reborn, thanks to the community.

Small World
Small batch products are bigger than ever.

Bygone Baltimore
A look at the city 110 years ago.

Music Reviews: October 2017
The latest from Outcalls and Us and Us Only.