Like many other Cape Region establishments that were considered nonessential businesses, Lefty's Alley & Eats near Lewes was forced to close its doors when the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared in mid-March.
Businesses have been able to reopen during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the state's economic reopening plan. Currently, businesses can accommodate up to 60 percent of their maximum occupancy, and they must follow all federal and state health guidelines.
Co-owner D.J. Hill said in retrospect, the closure provided time to take a look inward. “It allowed us to get back in creation mode. It's the best thing that could have happened at this time,” he said during a June 18 VIP and friends reopening party. Lefty's officially reopened its doors June 22.
“It gave us time to reboot and retool. We've been busy and had a lot of fun doing it. We are now better than ever,” Hill said.
Lefty's has a new chef and new menu, a new general manager, an upgraded patio, and is offering a drive-in movie theater.
General Manager Gary Foley was hired just before the state of emergency was initiated. However, he immediately started revamping the operation.
“He said we have all the parts; we just need a few changes,” Hill said.
The first task was to redesign the patio, and the second step was to institute a drive-in theater utilizing the north wall and parking lot of the building.
The drive-in started June 22 with a sold-out showing of “Rocky.” Other upcoming movie favorites include “Dirty Dancing,” which is sold out, “Beach Blanket Bingo,” “Animal House” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
Hill said they want to offer a mixture of blockbusters, family and horror movies nightly throughout the summer. In a unique touch, servers on roller skates take food orders from moviegoers in their vehicles.
Sunday shows in July will be reserved for streamed Clear Space productions with proceeds going to the organization.
Anita Broccolino, director of sales, said it's the first drive-in theater in the state to operate since 2008.
“The new drive-in was both an exciting and an important quick-pivot to help us offer entertainment within the proper social distancing parameters and help business rebound,” she said.
Go to www.iloveleftys.com for a movie schedule.
Chef Paige van den Burg is a New York City-trained executive chef with more than 10 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Hill noted that her first job was making pancakes at the Bellmoor Inn in Rehoboth Beach. “She's come full circle,” he said, recommending the new pizza selections.
She will also oversee Lefty's new Black Hat Catering operations, and the menus for VIP and corporate meetings and events.
Lefty's, located behind the Lewes Wawa off Dartmouth Drive, offers 16 lanes of bowling, a large room filled with arcade games, two floors of laser tag, and a bar and restaurant.