Like the beer it proudly serves, Finbar has undergone an evolution in Rehoboth Beach.
The 316 Rehoboth Ave. restaurant redesigned the interior, moving the bar from the back of the building to the front.
Co-owner Mark Grabowski said Finbar is also focusing on the emerging craft beer market by removing bottle storage and installing more taps, more than doubling in capacity from 12 to 28. Combined with a new cooler for bottles, and Finbar has 130 beers available.
Grabowski said the restaurant is evolving past its Irish/English pub beginnings. Finbar’s beer menu was originally centered on Irish brands like Guiness, Smithwick’s and Harp. However, the focus has shifted to regional and national craft brews like Dogfish Head, Evolution, 16 Mile and Yards.
“Guiness is a good seller for us, but our biggest seller last year was (R.J. Rocker’s) Son of a Peach and Allagash, and some of these microbrews are taking over,” he said.
Grabowski said he plans to create flights of beers with a particular theme. He said, there would be a local flight with Dogfish, 16 Mile, Old Dominion and Evolution or a West Coast flight with Stone and 21st Amendment.
“We definitely have the most pours in town,” Grabowski said.
While the beer menu evolved, the food menu has largely remained unchanged as a combination of Irish cuisine and seafood.
Grabowski said the evolution has been positive, with sales up 42 percent over Memorial Day weekend and 11 percent so far this year. Last summer was Finbar's best; Grabowski said moving the bar triggered a huge growth spurt, one he hopes will establish Finbar amongst Rehoboth restaurant elite.
“We’re still like the younger guys,” Grabowski said. “It’s almost like you have to get into your teens to be established. But we’re getting there.”
Finbar is open seven days a week for dinner at 4 p.m., with lunch Friday through Sunday at 11:30 a.m. For more information on Finbar, call 227-1873 or visit www.finbarspub.com.