Less than a year after announcing the restaurant’s future departure from Rehoboth Beach, Nicola Pizza has sold its two downtown properties.
According to Sussex County property records, the two sites sold April 5 for a total of $4 million – $2.4 million for the Rehoboth Avenue location and $1.6 million for the North First Street parcel. The properties were sold to Trahos Capital Investments LLC, which has a mailing address of Falls Church, Va.
Nick Caggiano Sr., who founded Nicola Pizza with his late wife Joan in 1971, confirmed the sale of the properties. In an interview April 20, he said the restaurant will operate in Rehoboth Beach through the summer of 2021.
“Hopefully, we’ll be out of here by summer 2022,” said Caggiano, who declined to name the purchaser.
Sussex County officials have approved a 9,640-square-foot, two-story restaurant with a 1,726-square-foot covered deck on a parcel off Route 1. The lot abuts Ocean One Plaza, which is also owned by Caggiano and is home to several businesses – PNC Bank, Dimitra Yoga, Max Challenge fitness studio and Home2 Suites by Hilton.
Dr. Michael Trahos confirmed he and his family purchased the property. The family is honored to be the next owners and custodians of the iconic and much-beloved Nicola properties, he said in an email April 20.
In addition to the Nicola properties, Trahos said his family also owns several other properties in Rehoboth – including Gus & Gus, Starkey's Ice Cream, Tidal Rave's 5 &10, The Funnel Cake Factory, Zogg's Raw Bar & Grill, Dave & Skippy's, the Hotel Carlton building (current home to The Shirt Factory), Royal Market and Blackwall Hitch.
“Our family has been a part of the Rehoboth Beach community since we first purchased property in the city after the Great Depression over 80 years ago,” said Trahos. “We continue to remain deeply committed to Rehoboth Beach and believe it truly is one of the most charming beach resort towns on the East Coast.”
That list of properties doesn’t include the ones owned by his cousin John Papajohn, who owns the property that encompasses a significant portion of the oceanfront block between Rehoboth and Wilmington avenues. It’s the site of the proposed Belhaven Hotel.
Trahos said he’s pleased the Caggiano family will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Nicola’s in Rehoboth. When Nicola does move, he said, the plan is to bring in two new restaurants that will be a great fit in the Rehoboth community and the source of many cherished memories for beachgoers in the years to come.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comments from Dr. Michael Trahos, whose family purchased the properties.