More Restaurant Surprises Coming to Downtown Rehoboth

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It was a bittersweet last weekend for Nicola Pizza. The sign from the Rehoboth Avenue restaurant was taken down last week, and the last day the restaurant was open to the public was on Labor Day.

Kelly Munyan, the manager, says they will now start the move to the new restaurant with a target opening date in mid-October. Details will be posted on the Nicola’s Pizza Facebook page.

It has already been announced that Zogg’s Restaurant Group will become the next business to lease this popular Rehoboth Avenue location.

But there seems to always be more restaurant news to share.

The Summer House, another Rehoboth Beach institution for decades, will be changing hands in just a few days. Regan Derrickson of Nalu says he will be purchasing the business and the ground from The Big Fish Restaurant Group and former Mayor Paul Kuhns.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity from being a local and former employee of the Summer House in 2001 to take over a Rehoboth institution for 45 years,” he said.

The restaurant will close for renovation and re-launch hopefully in early December, he said. “Our plan is to be open every day, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., with a brand new menu and night scene. Lots of exciting updates will be announced as we progress in our renovation,” Derrickson added.

Why would anybody want the responsibility of running/owning a restaurant, yet three of them?

“I think that restaurants and especially bars have an alluring factor at the beginning but once you get into the actual business of them the behind-the-scenes operation is extremely tough,” Derrickson points out. “I think most restaurateurs, including myself, have no idea what they are getting themselves into. Personally, for me, I had to learn every position in the restaurant very quickly and after about 7-8 seasons I finally got Nalu on the right profitable path,” he explained.

Derrickson said he wasn’t looking to open a second Nalu location but when he was presented with the opportunity to buy property half a block from the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, it was a “no brainer” after 11 seasons in the business.

Now, with the Summer House, once again, he says he “wasn’t looking to open a third restaurant but the opportunity to own property on Rehoboth Avenue and a restaurant of 45 years that is loved by many, especially me, was an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Owning the three restaurants that hopefully do well, he explains, allows him to have a higher level of redundancy with employees by having a higher payroll that is supported by all three locations. It’s also unusual to have three restaurant locations within a couple of miles of one another that don’t compete with each other and that he sees as another convenience with regard to travel time.


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