Over a year into the process and lots of paperwork later, Michael Lankford and Milan Mladjan said they look forward to finally opening the doors of Beach Nomad Brews in Rehoboth.
“We recently just got the sign permit from the city and got the final inspection approved,” said Mladjan recently. “Getting the sign approved was the biggest thing. Now we’re focusing on staff, and we’re looking forward to actually doing what we want to do.”
What the two have set out to do is open a gastropub and brewhouse in the basement-level restaurant space of the Clear Space Theater building at 20 Baltimore Ave. Mladjan will operate the brewing and front end of the restaurant, while Lankford will operate the back end.
“Think food truck food, with a twist,” Mladjan said. “Comfortable food, plated nicely.”
Mladjan said the restaurant will feature gourmet burgers made from bison, lamb and elk. He’ll be bringing some Canadian flair to the menu with poutine – a pile of french fries, covered with gravy and cheese curds. He said there will be crab cakes, and maybe a nice piece of salmon on the menu, but for the most part seafood will be left to the restaurants who specialize in that.
“That’s a whole other beast,” he said. “The menu will constantly be changing.”
The restaurant is looking to capture some of the beach-and-beer-loving culture that has cropped up in the Cape Region over the past few decades. This is thanks, in large part, to Dogfish Head, said Mladjan, who then listed off other breweries Beach Nomad Brews is looking to support, including Milford’s Mispillion River Brewing, Rehoboth’s Revelation Craft Brewing, Georgetown’s 16 Mile Brewing Company and Lewes’ Big Oyster Brewery.
“There’s a whole new tourism industry coming to this area to experience the local breweries,” Mladjan said.
This is Mladjan’s first foray into brewing beer, but he has more than a decade of experience making wine and hard cider. He said he began with vineyards in Canada, and has traveled the world honing his craft.
“I’m a fermented beverage specialist,” he said, with a chuckle, adding fresh flat breads will be made with the spent grains used for brewing. “This is about playing and having fun. The goal is to have something new every week.”
Lankford and Mladjan said they’re aware of the location’s history of restaurant turnover, but they said they’re not looking to be a fine dining experience like the previous restaurants.
“We want to capture those tourists who are looking for someplace low-key, simple and good,” said Mladjan.
The opening day is still a bit of a moving target, but Lankford said hopefully no later than July 4. The plan this year is to keep things simple and customers happy, he said.
Mladjan said the restaurant’s website should be up and running soon. For more information go to Beach Nomad Brews on Facebook.