Zava Café coming to Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth

Co-owners Danio Somoza, Thaina Bittencourt bring variety of high-quality foods
March 9, 2022

Story Location:
Zava Cafe
33 Wilmington Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

Looking to provide beachgoers with quick and healthy food options, Danio Somoza and Thaina Bittencourt are opening Zava Café on Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.

It will be located in the Avenue Inn & Spa space that most recently housed Duck Donuts, and Somoza and Bittencourt, co-owners and a couple, said there aren’t too many places in town for people going to the beach to pick up a quick breakfast or lunch that’s been made with high-quality, healthy ingredients.

“Customers are going to be able to see each and every ingredient that was used for their meal,” said Bittencourt.

This is the first cafe operation for Somoza and Bittencourt, but they have years of food service industry experience between the two of them. Somoza is the owner of Coastline Restaurant Group, which operates Harvest Tide Steakhouses in Lewes and Bethany Beach, and Zoca Modern Mexican Restaurant, also in Bethany Beach.

The plan is to bring the quality people are familiar with from those restaurants here, said Somoza.

“Everything will be fresh and processed in-house, using as many locally sourced products as possible,” said Somoza. 

Somoza and Bittencourt, both with children from previous relationships, said there will be plenty of food options for kids, too. One of the kids is a picky eater, while the other will eat anything, but has a lot of allergies and can’t eat what they want, said Bittencourt, describing a scenario many parents know all too well. Zava Cafe’s high-quality ingredients provide options for both, she said.

Using beans from South America, Africa and other areas of the world, Zava Café will offer customers a number of different coffee options.

Coffee is like wine, said Somoza. The flavor really does depend on where it’s grown, he said, adding that some of the beans will be roasted in-house.

Prior to the donut shop, the space was a furniture store, which means the donut shop did a lot of the infrastructure work needed to convert the space to food service. That layout remains, but the feel of the space has changed dramatically with ocean-colored tiles, stained-wood boards and a grassed accent wall that Bittencourt created herself.

“I probably spent too much time on that,” she said. “But I think it turned out pretty good.”

Bittencourt said securing the Wilmington Avenue location went quickly. They had been thinking about opening a cafe in Rehoboth when a friend showed them a story in the Cape Gazette saying that Duck Donuts had closed.

“We came by the next day and someone asked if we wanted to see the inside,” said Bittencourt. “It’s very exciting.”

Somoza said customers will be able to preorder online and pick up their food on the way to the beach.

He said the expectation is to be open within the next couple of weeks. The health department was scheduled for final inspection, and if that goes as planned, the cafe will be good to go, he said.

The plan is for Zava Café to be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, year-round. For more information on Zava Café, 33 Wilmington Ave., go to

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