Casa DiLeo, the Italian restaurant with super-sized pizza slices located near the end of Rehoboth Avenue, recently took its recipes on the road, opening up a second location, Casa DiLeo North, in the Midway Galleria shopping center on Route 1.
When the summer season is in full swing, owner John DiLeo said many of his best year-round clientele vanish from Rehoboth Avenue, preferring not to brave the crowds and traffic of the season.
Although summer visitors have arrived to fill the tables in Rehoboth, DiLeo said he saw opportunity when Midway location – previously home to other Italian restaurants – opened up.
Moving swiftly since taking over location in May, DiLeo brought his recipes to Midway and is now offering the same home-made Italian specialties, pizza and delivery to customers in the Lewes and Long Neck areas.
"The kitchen is so big, so clean, we have the ability to do catering on a large scale," he said. "The signs were on the wall; we could expand and we could reach out to more people."
The new location, larger kitchen and bigger staff are just the start, DiLeo said.
As Casa DiLeo North becomes more established, DiLeo said he hopes to offer more efficient delivery and add a wine and beer bar to the family dining atmosphere.
With the addition of refrigerated cases in Midway, DiLeo said he also plans to begin offering his Italian specialties packaged as ready-made meals to take home.
Though the new location has only been open as Casa DiLeo North for a few weeks, server Chris Gosling said word has caught on fast.
"It has taken a while for people to realize we are here," Gosling said. "It's definitely been picking up. People didn't know we were here, now they do."
Lewes resident Debra Waters said she's been a longtime lover of DiLeo's food.
Waters said she has been faithful to the restaurants where DiLeo has been the executive chef or owner for many years.
"I'm so happy! I go to all his places; I frequent him everywhere," Waters said. "I'm glad he's here on the highway, and I know he will do well because he is hands-on, and the quality of food is superior."
Although DiLeo said hadn't originally planned to expand this summer, the 10th anniversary of Casa DiLeo on Rehoboth Avenue, he felt he had to answer when opportunity knocked.
DiLeo said he's working on expansions in Rehoboth also. With an outdoor dining area in the works and a man-versus-food pizza-pie eating competition underway in Rehoboth, the owner said he's grateful to have a successful business.
"It wasn't something that was totally planned; it was an opportunity I saw," DiLeo said. "Its been really good with some original and new stuff and new staff. We are really surprised at the response of being closer to Lewes in the Midway area."
For more information, call Casa DiLeo North at 302-644-2256 or the original Casa DiLeo South at 302-226-8660.