Jimmy’s Grille, on Route 1 in Dewey Beach, was denied an application to expand its patron service area on Saturday, July 13 – the same day as the Starboard’s annual Running of the Bull event, which draws thousands of visitors to the small town.
At an April 6 meeting, Dewey Beach Town Council voted unanimously to deny the application.
Representatives from Highway One, which owns Jimmy’s Grille, said they wanted to erect a tent in the parking lot to better accommodate the large number of people in town for Running of the Bull. Jimmy’s had planned to serve alcohol and food in the tent Saturday, July 13, and use the tent as a registration area for runners in the 11th annual Jimmy’s Grill Dewey 5K, Sunday, July 14.
According to Highway One employee Meggin Holtzclaw, the tent would hold 85 people. “It’s like adding another bar,” said Commissioner Anna Legates, who noted the capacity of nearby establishments is less than the capacity of the tent.
Mayor Diane Hanson said she was concerned about the number of restrooms at Jimmy’s in comparison to the number of people that would be allowed on the premises.
Commissioners had previously denied the request for expansion in a 3-2 vote at a March 9 council meeting, but Holtzclaw said she would resubmit Jimmy’s Grill’s request because a Dewey Beach employee gave her the wrong application.
Commissioner Courtney Riordan, who voted in favor of the expansion at the March meeting, said after speaking with constituents, he changed his mind about the application. “I’ve been convinced maybe at this point in time it’s a risk we shouldn’t undertake right now,” he said.
No members of the public testified about the application.