Nicola Pizza is moving to Lewes.
After nearly 50 years in downtown Rehoboth Beach, the popular pizza shop is planning to move just south of Five Points in Lewes. Nick Caggiano Sr., who founded Nicola with his late wife Joan in 1971, said the family recently purchased the storage facility adjacent to Ocean One Plaza, which they already own.
The plan, he said, is to clear the property and build a new restaurant. The goal is to be open by fall 2021. The family will continue to operate its existing locations on North First Street and Rehoboth Avenue until the new restaurant is built.
“We just want to get our brand out to more people,” said Caggiano, who operates the restaurant with his son Nick Jr. “We can’t do that in Rehoboth Beach – it’s just summer there. The highway is pretty heavily traveled and we’re going to be visible to a lot of customers, new customers.”
Caggiano said current locations are a little cramped, particularly for office space. Parking is also an issue, he said.
As for why the family will not operate multiple locations, Caggiano said it comes down to providing a quality product to customers.
“We’re quality conscious, and we’ve always been that way,” he said.
Caggiano said it will be difficult to say goodbye to the original North First Street restaurant.
“I’m going to be in tears,” he said.
The decision, he said, was not made because of anything the City of Rehoboth Beach has done.
“Rehoboth has been very good to us,” he said. “I have no qualms about Rehoboth Beach.”
He said he hopes his Rehoboth customers will make the trip to Lewes.
The Caggiano family owns the property where the two restaurants operate. The current plan, Caggiano said, is to sell both properties. The family owns other property within Rehoboth Beach, so there would be available space if they ever decide to return, he said.
Nicola opened in 1971 on North First Street. The two-story Rehoboth Avenue sports bar opened in 2010. Shortly after opening, Caggiano introduced the Nic-o-Boli, a unique take on a stromboli, which has become a signature item for the restaurant the last several decades.
Ocean One Plaza is home to several businesses, including PNC Bank, Dimitra Yoga, Max Challenge fitness studio and a new hotel, Home2 Suites by Hilton, which is nearing completion.