Dagsboro finally has a home for late-night entertainment: Mr. Banana’s Lounge and Bar, a live entertainment venue. Located in Route 113’s Savannah Square Shopping Center, the 10,000-square-foot lounge has room to dance, drink and eat until 1 a.m. daily.
The raised stage has already hosted many bands and DJs since the business’ soft opening in early December of 2013, and the place has come alive through word of mouth and social media.
A 120-foot bar, plus 80-foot back bar, fill one wall, while booths and tables curve around the dance floor. Special parties can reserve the VIP section — a raised platform overlooking the entire place that encourages mingling, lounging and bottle service.
The calendar is always alive, with Monday team trivia, Wednesday karaoke, Thirsty Thursday, Friday D.J.s and bands (Fuzzbox Pirhana on Jan. 10), and Saturday’s Latino Night, with dancing. Sunday Fun Day will feature games, such as beer pong on the dance floor, and a D.J.
“We’ve got people out there dancing,” said consultant Michael Oxbrough, adding that some bands bring in several hundred people for a night out. “We’re large enough to do any type of party.”
“We’re agnostic, as far as entertainment. We welcome all types of entertainment,” said Oxbrough, pointing to a full “state-of-the-art” digital sound and lights board. “Bands can just bring their instruments and play.”
As a sports bar, Mr. Banana’s has 12 high-definition televisions, with plans to add more. Songs cost 25 cents on the jukebox.
“It’s definitely a hidden live venue in Sussex County, because you don’t have to drive to the beach,” he said. “There’s no reason to drive long distances anymore.”
Oxbrough said people from Laurel, Dewey Beach, Bethany, Rehoboth and Ocean City, Md., have already visited, noting that he couldn’t think of a stage and dance floor nearer than O.C.
“We’ve had some fantastic entertainment. The local community has been fantastic, and that’s what our whole goal is [from comedians to ladies’ night] … to bring in all types of crowds,” Oxbrough said.
When co-owners Horatio Paxter and Memmo Moreno imagined the taproom, they didn’t want a restaurant that only one group would enjoy.
“This is a neighborhood. Anyone can walk in the door,” Oxbrough said. “They wanted everyone to enjoy it.”
The banana name and quirky logo (two suavely dressed bananas with arms and legs) was just a memorable way to make the business standout, he said.
Happy hour at Mr. Banana’s is daily from 3 to 7 p.m. People must be 21 years old to enter.
Taprooms aren’t required to make food a priority, but Mr. Banana’s wants people to be well-fed. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. on weekdays and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. The appetizer and sandwich menus last all day, and everything costs $12 or less. Carryout is also available.
Lorena Moreno is cooking, bringing flavor from her previous Dagsboro restaurant, La Bamba.
“Lorena brings Hispanic flair to the cooking,” Oxbrough said, marveling at the jumbo-lump crabcakes, never-frozen handmade burgers, and “amazing quesadillas and tacos.”
The cheesesteak comes with a choice of melted queso cheese, with bite of jalapeño, or American-style. Potato chips are made in-house, and the tortilla chips are deep-fried to order.
The owners are also getting involved with their community. After hearing about a fire in Selbyville last week that affected eight families, Mr. Banana’s began collecting donations for the victims. By the first day, they had two whole booths of toys, clothes, plates and homewares. By the second morning, they had more than the families currently have room for.
Mr. Banana’s Lounge and Bar is located at 32183 DuPont Boulevard (Route 113) and can be reached at (302) 732-1010.