The future is bright for Cape Region dining

September 29, 2016

Gadzooks! This is my 100th column for Beach Paper! Thank you, Editor Jen Ellingsworth for all your advice, support and hilarious emails. I live for them. Pathetic, I know, but true….

That being said, all good things must come to an end – but only temporarily! Beach Paper and this column will be back next year, but in the meantime I do worry about your nourishment during the off season. Fortunately, you can consult my column archives at and also at for direction and comfort. The silver lining around this otherwise dark cloud is that when we return there will be all sorts of new goodies waiting for you around town.

Pig & Fish Restaurant Company and Pickled Pig Pub will have a new baby by the time Beach Paper graces the newsstands in May, 2017. The Pig & Publican (Doug, Lisa and partners love those porkers!) will be up and running in the Beacon Motel just over the drawbridge in Lewes. And wait until you see some of the surprises on the menu! Of course we’re all watching the quick construction of the building that will house the new Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli on the corner of Coastal Highway and Rt. 24. Get a taste of things to come at Rosenfeld’s rolling DeliMobile – or just take a ride to 63rd St. in Ocean City.

Though the death knell had begun to ring for Gilligan’s in Lewes, investors swooped down at the last minute (fiery chariot ‘n’ all) and the iconic canalside eatery is being rebuilt better than ever. And yes, the dockside bar will still be there. Fins Ale House/Big Oyster Brewery is still slogging through legalities in anticipation of their new Lewes location on Kings Highway, but in order to stay busy they are bringing Fins to the up-and-coming foodie destination of Berlin, Md. Justine Zegna of Planet X/Venus on the Half Shell fame blazed that trail a few years ago with her cozy and clever menu at Blacksmith. Berlin’s really not that far and it’s a fun off-season ride.

At the time of this writing, I cannot reveal too much, but SoDel Concepts is working hard to bring their restaurant lineup to an even number (ten, to be exact).

They are eyeing a very specific spot just outside downtown Rehoboth Beach. OK, Scott and Doug, I’ll shut up now. Speaking of downtown Rehoboth, Henlopen City Oyster House is expanding its range – at least across Wilmington Avenue. Chris and Joe will grace the new section of The Avenue Inn with the Blue Hen restaurant. Slightly west of there, construction continues on what will prove to be an amazing food, brew and entertainment complex encompassing both Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats and Chesapeake & Maine.

The signs are finally up for Missi’s Egg restaurant in the old McQuay’s space. And yes, there is parking! Breakfast and lunch will be the order of the day there by the drawbridge. With Espuma out of the downtown mix, we will be treated to a brand new (for Rehoboth) concept brought to us by an expert on the subject, Joe Lertch. His new Vineyard Wine Bar & Bistro will resurrect that space at First and Wilmington. This guy knows his stuff and if his loyal Havre de Grace, Md. customers are to be believed, the food is also great.

The old KFC building on Coastal Highway near Big Chill Surf Cantina is slated to become a drive-through Starbucks. Goodness knows it took long enough. Congrats to commercial agent Brittany Danahy for her tireless efforts to help light up otherwise dark windows here at the beach.

Our beloved Touch of Italy is venturing north to that beautiful art deco bank building in downtown Milford. As if that weren’t enough, TOI is also eyeing a VERY busy corner in Christiana, proving the old adage that there can never be enough wood-fired pizza.

Enjoy the quiet of off-season dining. Nothing like driving right up to your favorite eatery and finding a parking space.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter