Drift is the reason for all the Baltimore Avenue commotion

New restaurant in 130-year-old home is first project for Second Block Hospitality Group
September 17, 2021

Story Location:
42 1/2 Baltimore Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

With the building sitting on wooden cribbing for weeks as a new block foundation was built underneath, it’s been impossible not to notice the work being done at 42 ½ Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth Beach. Now, as the structure gets ready to be set back down so interior work can begin, it’s been announced the 130-year-old camp meeting house will become a restaurant called Drift.

The restaurant is the first project for Second Block Hospitality Group, which consists of The Pines owners Bob Suppies, Tyler Townsend, David Gonce and Chef Lion Gardner. According to a press release announcing the new restaurant and new hospitality group, Drift is slated to open in early 2022 with a strong focus on the raw bar and “traditionally prepared dishes influenced by the sea.”

Gardner, who owns the house with his wife Meg, is a well-known chef in the local restaurant scene – he helped open Eden and was co-owner of Blue Moon for over a decade. More recently, he’s been plying his trade as a corporate chef for a seafood company in Maryland.

Gardner said he and his wife had been waiting for a good opportunity to renovate the building. That opening presented itself in the form of a business partnership with Suppies, Townsend and Gonce, who opened The Pines in late 2018 and then took over Aqua Grill a year later.

The house was built sometime near 1890 and had been sitting on sand its whole existence, so a new foundation needed to be built before anything else was done, said Gardner, acknowledging the can’t-be-missed work that’s been taking place.

“We had to make sure things were going in the right direction before we could announce anything,” said Gardner.

The interior has been gutted, but the plan is to bring back the historic feel of the space, along with modern touches, said Gardner. The restaurant will run the entire length of the first floor, with storage and an apartment on the second floor, he said.

“It probably would have been easier to demolish and rebuild, but we wanted to save a piece of Rehoboth Beach history,” said Gardner.

A few years ago, Suppies and Townsend were admittedly frustrated with how long renovation took for The Pines. However, they made it through and are now excited to be taking on another historic restoration project.

“It’s important to save these old buildings when we can,” said Suppies.

As excited as Second Block Hospitality Group members are about Drift, this isn’t going to be the group’s one and only project.

“We’ve got more plans for the future. We just can’t talk about them yet,” said Gardner, smiling.

For more information, go to

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter