After more than 18 months of renovations, The Pines on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth is scheduled to open Friday, Dec. 7.
“We are really excited,” said owner Bob Suppies, just before a public meet-and-greet at the restaurant Dec. 2.
From the concrete slab on the first floor to the kitchen vents on top of the roof, Suppies and co-owner Tyler Townsend have completely remodeled the building previously home to Hobos. Permitting took 9 months, and there was almost 8 months of construction, said Suppies.
“It took way longer than expected, but we wanted to do it right,” Suppies said. “We could have just remodeled the space and then opened, but we wanted to create something that will last and that Rehoboth can be proud of.”
Townsend said it was better to not cut any corners through the process. Besides, he said, now it’s opening when locals will be the main clientele, and that’s who the restaurant wants to capture.
In May, The Pines announced the hiring of Baltimore’s Dane Wilfong as executive chef. Immediately prior to The Pines, Wilfong was executive chef at Whitehouse Caterers at Overhills Mansion in Catonsville, Md.
Wilfong said he enjoyed helping with kitchen design, and he’s excited about all new equipment, but he said he is most happy to get back preparing food for customers.
“My hands haven’t been that idle since I started working in kitchens,” he said, which began in his early teens. “It feels like home to be back in the kitchen.”
In the days prior to the public opening, the restaurant has hosted family and friends for dinner. Wilfong said those dinners went well, with noticeable improvement from the first night to the second. In addition to a brand new kitchen, this staff hasn’t worked together either, he said, “but I’m very confident we’ll be ready for the opening.”
Suppies described the menu as modern-tavern, with a twist. He said the food is all locally sourced, and the menu will change with the seasons. He said when the expected opening was a couple months ago, a menu was created for that season.
“There was a whole fall menu that no one even saw,” he said.
In September, the restaurant announced its Let’s Make History Campaign, a call to the community for old photos. Suppies said they received more than 200 photos, many of which now line the stairwell heading to the second floor.
“We are still looking for more,” he said.
Days away from the grand opening, Suppies remained positive about the delay in opening, because the end product is so good. He and Townsend wouldn’t change a thing. “Well, I’m not sure we’d pick an 8,000-square-foot building,” he said.
The Pines will be open for dinner at 5 p.m., daily. Reservations are not required, but are recommended. Townsend said the restaurant will open for happy hour at some point in the future, but not until dinner is running like a machine.
For information on The Pines, 56 Baltimore Ave., call 302-567-2726 or go to thepinesrb.com.