302 The Local set to open soon outside Rehoboth Beach

Owner Chris Desch turns former Chaps space into 100-year-old speakeasy
March 28, 2024

Story Location:
302 The Local
19819 Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

Sitting in a completely remodeled space, 302 The Local owner Chris Desch said he’s got three goals for the Cape Region’s newest restaurant.

“We don’t want the customer to feel like they wasted money. We don’t want them to leave hungry. We want them to feel satisfied,” he said.

Located in Coastal Station behind Iron Hill Brewery, 302 The Local is where Chaps Pit Beef used to be. Desch owned and operated that restaurant with his brother Gary. This time around, Gary’s not involved, but Desch’s other brother Steven is. He’s the general manager.

“This place is incredibly different. There’s no parallel between the two. The only thing that’s the same about the space is the floors,” said Desch.

Desch said Chaps was focused on the food. At 302 The Local, which is themed as a 1920s-era speakeasy, it’s about the food and the drinks, he said.

“There’s a huge emphasis on being a place where people can come and relax after a long day,” said Desch. “We want this place to be somewhere where people can decompress or celebrate.”

Desch said a lot of energy went into the creation of the food and drink menu.

“We want to blow people’s socks off,” he said.

Over the course of the renovation, Desch said several people have unexpectedly stopped in to see the progress.

“I sit them down, pour them a drink and then we talk about the plan. First, though, I ask them, ‘Are you a local?’” said Desch, laughing.

The restaurant is expected to open in the next week or so, said Desch. The final pieces of equipment are due to arrive in the coming days and staff will begin learning the menu, he said.

For more information on 302 The Local, 19819 Coastal Hwy., go to or call 302-932-8405. 


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter