Maryland-based Rise Up Coffee Roasters is set to take over a large space on Rehoboth Avenue where 7-Eleven had long been located.
Rehoboth commissioners unanimously approved a permit of compliance for the company after its owner agreed to limit the hours of a proposed patio and plant a buffer to protect neighbors from patio noise.
During a commissioner meeting July 20, Tim Cureton, Rise Up Coffee Roasters owner, said he hesitates to call any place the perfect location for Rise Up, but the Rehoboth Avenue location has the chance to be exactly that. At 502 Rehoboth Ave., Rise Up will be on the right side of the circle entering town. According to submitted plans, the coffee shop will have 25 parking spaces and seating for 112 people in the dining area, bar and patio.
According to Sussex County property records, the owner of the property is Mo Nacho LLC, out of Washington, D.C.
Rise Up began as a drive-thru trailer in a St. Michaels, Md. parking lot in 2005. Cureton said the Rehoboth location would the company’s seventh, and its first in Delaware. The other six are all in Maryland, from St. Michaels to Ocean City.
Cureton said the company started with two employees, and now has 11. He expects to add 25 more with the opening of the Rehoboth location.
There’s a serious commitment to making it work in Rehoboth, and coffee gods willing, Cureton said, it will. To demonstrate the company’s desire to be in Rehoboth, he said the rent for the one Rehoboth location is more than the combined rent of the other six.
Cureton said he’s working with Lewes-based Old World Breads to provide fresh baked goods. He said coffee beans will not be roasted in Rehoboth, but the roastery is in Easton, Md., so the coffee will be fresh.
Cureton said the hours of operation for the year-round business would be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the restaurant would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. As part of the approval process, Rise Up was granted permission to serve alcohol, a first for the company.
Cureton said he sought an alcohol permit because he didn’t want to be at a competitive disadvantage. It’s about being able to give customers what they want, he said.
“This will not be a honky-tonk,” Cureton said, explaining there will be a limited selection of wine, beer and brunch drinks like Bloody Marys and mimosas.
Prior to the approval, and after listening to concerns from neighbors of the Cottages By The Sea condo association, Cureton agreed to limit the hours of the 36-person patio to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. He also agreed to work with association neighbors to plant an appropriate buffer between the patio and his nearest neighbors.
City code defines a restaurant as a place where meals are prepared and served on the premises. Commissioner Stan Mills said he wasn’t sure if the food for the dinner portion of the menu provided by Cureton would suffice as a meal. The dinner menu has four options of two courses – tacos and ramen noodles – and snacks.
Cureton defended the menu. “If that’s not a restaurant menu, I’ll eat my hat,” he said.
After the commissioners granted the permits, Mills asked Cureton when he expected the restaurant to open.
Cureton smiled, took a big now-the-fun-really-begins breath, and said, “As soon as possible.”