Dogfish Inn celebrates coastal Delaware

Motel opens July 4, reservations open June 27
The Dogfish Inn is set to open for business Friday, July 4. Reservations will be accepted beginning June 27. BY NICK ROTH
June 27, 2014

The Dogfish Head name is synonymous with craft beer, but beginning Fourth of July weekend, it will also be known for much more.

The Dogfish Inn officially opens Friday, July 4, amid much anticipation in the brewery's rabid fan base. Stamping the Dogfish brand in the Lewes community, the 16-room motel at the corner of Savannah and Gills Neck roads promotes the City of Lewes as much as its namesake.

“We wanted it to be a part of our town,” said Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione. “[We did not want] to open a competing restaurant because so many of our friends have great restaurants and great stores here. The mission is to get people out, not just to see Dogfish, but all of the awesome entrepreneurial companies that have helped to make the local economy so vibrant.”

On the desk of each room sits a Dogfish Head Treasure Map, highlighting the Cape Region's hiking trails, boat ramps and major attractions. Dogfish relied as much as possible on local businesses, such as Lewes-based Midwest Feather & Down for comforters and pillows and coffee from Amy Felker's Notting Hill Coffee Roastery on Second Street.

Despite making its name in the beer industry, no beer or alcohol will be served. For guests craving Dogfish beer, the staff recommends walking to one of the many Lewes restaurants that serve its eclectic brews.

Dogfish lovers can fulfill their needs for everything Dogfish in the motel's small gift shop, offering everything from Dogfish clothes and glasses to soap, shampoo and dog treats.

Rates are subject to change, but Innkeeper Andrew Greeley expects to charge $250 per weeknight and $280 per night on weekends, with a two-night minimum. A two-room “sweet” above the lobby is available for $495 on weekday nights and $595 per night on weekends.

“We wanted to preserve the charm of the motel culture because you don't really see many motels in operation anymore,” said Nick Benz, Dogfish's chief operating officer.

The challenge was, Benz said, how to pull it off while adding a Dogfish spin. Working with local contractor Lighthouse Construction and Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, the Dogfish flair was accomplished.

One unique feature in each room is an original painting of the Lightship Overfalls by Lewes artist Steve Rogers. Each painting is different; one work depicts the ship sinking in its Canalfront Park berth, a personal favorite of Benz.

Greeley moves over from the brewery's tasting room in Milton to running the show in Lewes. He said he most looks forward to embedding himself in the Lewes community.

“One of the biggest draws was the community in Lewes and being a part of that,” he said at the June 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you.”

The motel is also dog-friendly for those who wish to bring along their furry friends.

The inn will begin accepting reservations Friday, June 27, at or by calling 302-644-8292.