Dollars & Sense

Bethany Boathouse casts off with grand opening

Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark: Brent Poffenberger, Tom Neville, chamber members and patrons celebrate at the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Bethany Boathouse on June 18. Bethany Boathouse is located across the street from their other venture, The Cottage Cafe.Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark: Brent Poffenberger, Tom Neville, chamber members and patrons celebrate at the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Bethany Boathouse on June 18. Bethany Boathouse is located across the street from their other venture, The Cottage Cafe.The sun was out, the live music was playing, and all hands were on deck when one of the area’s most unique venues held its official grand opening near Bethany Beach last Thursday.

“We wanted to build something that we thought would fit into the community, something that really matches the nature of this area,” said Brent Poffenberger, co-owner of Bethany’s newest watering hole, Bethany Boathouse.

The latest venture from Poffenberger and Tom Neville — who also own the Cottage Café, located across from Boathouse on the west side of Route 1 — the family-friendly restaurant and bar was designed to resemble a historic lifesaving station, and features both an indoor bar and the outdoor Gazebo Bar, in addition to both outdoor and indoor seating.

“People have been looking for something like this in the area, waiting for it,” said Boathouse General Manger Rich Beaney. “This is gonna be a destination.”

GiggleBugs Early Learning Center spouts in Millsboro

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Jennifer and Rich Spinks are ready to open the doors to GiggleBugs Early Learning Center in Millsboro.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Jennifer and Rich Spinks are ready to open the doors to GiggleBugs Early Learning Center in Millsboro.Early education has become a hot topic for parents, with a goal of getting children started on a good path. That’s why GiggleBugs Early Learning Center hopes to fill a gap for children ages 3 months to 12 years in Millsboro.

“This is my home county. This is my passion. I’ve known since a very young age that I’ve wanted to open my own center,” said owner Jennifer Spinks.

Jennifer and Rich Spinks bring years of experience to the table, having operated three similar centers in West Virginia.

“At our center in West Virginia, we had some start with us at 6 weeks and stay with us through the school-age program,” Spinks said.

After moving to Sussex County, they saw a need for local educational childcare.

“They’re full with waitlists,” Spinks said of other centers. “There are families that are unable to provide high-quality centers for their children.”

FlutterBy House celebrates opening with ribbon-cutting

Coastal Point • Submitted: FlutterBy House held it’s ribbon-cutting event on Friday, May 15. The new store is located at 31854 James Lowe Road.Coastal Point • Submitted: FlutterBy House held it’s ribbon-cutting event on Friday, May 15. The new store is located at 31854 James Lowe Road.Vine’s Creek Nursery is bringing big changes to its Frankford location. Its new building, the FlutterBy House, offers both unique shopping and picturesque views 8 miles west of Bethany Beach, just off of Omar Road. A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the shop’s opening was held on Friday, May 15, with a grand opening ceremony the next day that featured a live butterfly release.

“I’d like to introduce our new home and garden store at Vine’s Creek Nursery: The FlutterBy House,” said owner Tom Lowe, “It’s a unique store with unique gifts and foods. We’re very excited about it.”

The FlutterBy House offers everything from lamps and wreaths to birdhouses, sunhats, wind chimes and other décor. Also in stock are fresh Amish baked goods, including pies, breads, cakes, sticky buns, whoopie pies, fudge, gourmet popcorn, cookies, cream cheese spreads and more.

Hagen launches fourth restaurant with Hooked Up Ale House

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Restauranteur Steve Hagen shucks oysters at the raw bar of his fourth Off The Hook venture — Hooked Up Ale House in Millville.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Restauranteur Steve Hagen shucks oysters at the raw bar of his fourth Off The Hook venture — Hooked Up Ale House in Millville.You know them all by name — mostly, because they’re all kind of the same.

First, there was Off the Hook in Bethany Beach. Before long, Just Hooked followed in Fenwick Island. Then, more success. More restaurants. More puns. Eventually, Hooked opened up in Ocean City, Md.

But just when you thought Steve Hagen and the Off the Hook Restaurant Group were running out of names, they’re at it again — launching Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar in Millville this week, their fourth restaurant in just six years.

And, this time, there’s a real hook.

“It’s totally different than anything else that we’re doing,” said Hagen of the new venture. “We want to take the same concept of fresh products and original sets and put them into things that appeal to everything and everybody.”

While Hagen’s first three restaurants, of course, all offer their fair share of variety in terms of both menu and atmosphere, Hooked Up aims to break the mold by offering a more casual gastropub setting.

And with 24 beers on draft, 24 screens, the NFL “Sunday Ticket,” a long and lively raw bar, a game room equipped with pool tables and murals dedicated to local teams, and plenty of seating — the approach is not only new for the OTH Group but, according to Hagen, the local area in general.

Bethany kicks off summer season with ribbon-cutting

Coastal Point • M. Patricia Titus: From left, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper cut the ribbon on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project.Coastal Point • M. Patricia Titus: From left, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper cut the ribbon on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project.It was a day more than a decade in the making, as Bethany Beach town council members were joined by state and federal officials last Friday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the Town’s long-planned and, now, completed Streetscape project.

The redesign of a little more than two blocks that make up the town’s primary commercial district included the removal of overhead utility lines and the related poles; new lighting; reorganization of streetside parking, swapping angled parking to the exteriors of the street and parallel parking to the median; redefined bicycle lanes; wider sidewalks, free of the obstruction of utility poles; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curbs and crosswalks featuring inlaid brick; and changes aimed at calming traffic in an area with some of the heaviest pedestrian traffic in the state.

The idea behind Streetscape arose in 2001, with the Town’s beautification subcommittee. Numerous design ideas were floated over the years, with a mixed response from the council and the public. After considering public input on a series of initial designs, the committee did come up with a set of goals for the project:

Local businesses off to a strong start

Memorial Day marks the official kickoff of the summer season, and if this year’s holiday weekend was any indication of what’s ahead, summer 2015 will be a great time for area businesses.

Atlantic Physical Therapy builds strength

Coastal Point • Submitted: At Atlantic Physical Therapy in West Fenwick, reporter Laura Walter only needs to support a fraction of her own body weight while walking on the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.Coastal Point • Submitted: At Atlantic Physical Therapy in West Fenwick, reporter Laura Walter only needs to support a fraction of her own body weight while walking on the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.A boxing injury pulled Bobby Hammond out of the ring when he was younger, but physical therapy helped him climb back in the ring a few months later.

Today, the physical therapist helps other people regain their strength through rehabilitation at Atlantic Physical Therapy’s newest location, in West Fenwick.

“Our goal is to implement a life change,” said Hammond, adding that he hopes patients “live a healthier life, a pain-free life, which ultimately is a safer life.”

His father, Robert Hammond, first opened the Ocean Pines, Md., location of APT in 1998, adding locations in Salisbury, Md., Laurel, Del., Millsboro and just recently in West Ocean City, Md.

“People come in for such a broad range of things,” said Bobby Hammond, company vice president. “Everyone’s treatment is tailored to them.”

Therapists help with previous fractures, falls, post-operative care, stroke victims, Parkinson’s patients, sports injuries, neurological rehab, automobile- and work-related injuries and more.

“We go through exercises with the patients. It’s constant one-on-one supervision,” Hammond said. “We’re coaching them through the whole experience, and I think that makes us unique.”

He said empathy is part of his approach to physical therapy.

“We treat them the same way I would treat my mother. You have to have compassion.”

Ryan named new president of Delaware Botanic Gardens

The Board of the Delaware Botanic Gardens announced this week that Susan Ryan, owner of Good Earth Farm & Markets, has been selected to become the new president of the Delaware Botanic Gardens.

Vacation home sales now at pre-recession level

Vacation home sales have increased nationally for the fourth straight year and have now soared to levels not seen since before the start of the Great Recession, according to data released recently by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Karimali for Hair offers new services in new Fenwick location

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Costa and Gina Karimalis have moved their shop, Karimali For Hair from Route 54 to right on Route 1 to be able to offer customers more with added and updated space.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Costa and Gina Karimalis have moved their shop, Karimali For Hair from Route 54 to right on Route 1 to be able to offer customers more with added and updated space.While Karimali for Hair may be offering some new services, including makeup and full body waxing at their new location in Fenwick Island, they’re still offering the same service that has made their customers feel like family for the past seven years.

“Most of my friends are my clients,” explained Gina Karimalis, who owns the shop with her husband, Costa. “They turn into my family. I maybe met them doing their hair, but they become my family.”

As a professional hairstylist in their area throughout her entire life — much like most of her entire staff, with which she has worked for just as long — to Karimalis, the inviting, family-like atmosphere is just the way it’s always been.

“You’d be surprised. This is a hangout,” she said. “To me, it just seems so normal.”

But with Karimalis working on both women’s and men’s hair, and even children’s hair, it’s not just the girls gabbing in the shop.

Customers are lovin’ Lovetti’s, the new pizza shop in Dagsboro

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Lovetti’s owner Brian Lovett shows off his Meat Lover’s Stuffed Pizza at his restaurant in Dagsboro.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Lovetti’s owner Brian Lovett shows off his Meat Lover’s Stuffed Pizza at his restaurant in Dagsboro.After taking over the Dagsboro-area business formerly known as Goodfella’s, Lovetti’s Pizza owner Brian Lovett knew that it might take some time to establish a reputation for his new venture. But he also knew that the best way to do that was simple: good food and good service. And that’s exactly what he set out to do.

“I take a lot of pride in my food,” said Lovett. “It’s like mom and dad are making the food.”

While he’s just recently set up shop near Dagsboro, Lovett has been in the restaurant industry throughout his life, getting his knowledge of Italian cuisine by training with chefs in Philadelphia, where he’s originally from. That knowledge includes all types of pizza, but Lovetti’s offers up much more.

“I do more than just pizza,” he said. “I make my own chicken wings, mozzarella sticks… I do everything from scratch. That’s the major difference here.”

One Coastal bringing new concepts to Fenwick for year two

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Carlie Carey and the crew at One Coastal celebrate the restaurant’s grand re-opening with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. The restaurant went through a renovation and a menu change during the off-season.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Carlie Carey and the crew at One Coastal celebrate the restaurant’s grand re-opening with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. The restaurant went through a renovation and a menu change during the off-season.Carlie Carey is excited beyond control.

It’s not hard to tell after walking through the door of her newly renovated restaurant, One Coastal in Fenwick Island, and being greeted with a high-five, a hug and unprecedented enthusiasm.

But she’s not just excited about last weekend’s grand re-opening event with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce — she’s excited because of all the new happenings at One Coastal as they approach what will be their first full summer season in business, in which they’ll be able to see all of their off-season planning and changes come to fruition.

“We can’t wait to start the year,” said Carey. “This year we had time to hand-pick everything. Every menu item, every staff member, every piece of fruit or vegetable that goes into one of our juices — it’s all done on purpose. Our personality is shining through this year, and I am so proud that we have the staff to make that happen.”

Local woman receives Spirit of Avon award

For 23 years, Sandy Putz has been a sales representative for Avon beauty products, and she was recognized for her efforts last month at the Avon President’s Luncheon, with the Spirit of Avon award.

Zen Spa’s new ‘bar’ blowing up in Fenwick

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Brandon washes Nino Mancari’s hair at Zen Spa’s new Studio Z salon in Fenwick Island.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Brandon washes Nino Mancari’s hair at Zen Spa’s new Studio Z salon in Fenwick Island.Zen Spa’s new “blowout bar” is now in operation near Fenwick Island, gaining recognition as the only one of its kind on Delmarva.

“This is different. There is nothing like this around here,” explained owner Stacey Wetzstein. “It’s a bigger-city thing. Everybody has a hairstylist at home. When you’re on vacation, come in. You’re going to get a fantastic wash. You’re going to get blown-out in style.”

The concept is so new and unique to the area that some customers have never ever heard of it, she said.

“A lot of people don’t know what a blowout bar is,” said Wetzstein, going on to explain that the basic service includes a shampoo, deep conditioning, head massage and then finally a “blowout” hair dry — for those heading out on the town or who just don’t want to do their own hair and makeup.

You imagine it, they create it

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Imagination Furniture founder George Meringolo, above, paints pieces of office cabinets in the shop in Dagsboro.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Imagination Furniture founder George Meringolo, above, paints pieces of office cabinets in the shop in Dagsboro.

Imagination Furniture building upon customer creativity

She had been to all of the high-end furniture design centers. She had flipped through all of the catalogs. She had toured all of the showrooms. But Judy Wickes couldn’t find anyone who could offer her the home media center she envisioned.

Until she discovered Imagination Furniture.

“They listened to all my ideas and design concepts and turned our wall into a reality,” said Wickes. “We could not be happier with the results.”

For founder George Meringolo, it’s a story that embodies the mission of a company that he literally built with his own two hands.

District 4 school board race draws a crowd

Editor's Note: After filing for the election, candidate Lloyd Evan Elling withdrew from the race after the Coastal Point deadline.

The Indian River School Board’s 2015 election looks like a very off-kilter game of musical chairs. Five candidates are running for one position in District 4 (Frankford, west Dagsboro and points east).

Supremo puts new spin on brick-oven pizza

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Ira Mensh's imported Italian rotating brick oven can cook a pizza at 850 degrees, bringing a new spin on local pizza.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Ira Mensh's imported Italian rotating brick oven can cook a pizza at 850 degrees, bringing a new spin on local pizza.For pizza chef Ira Mensh, it’s all about the heat. And the ingredients. And, of course, the customer. But mostly, it’s about the brand new imported Italian rotating brick oven that is used to cook almost everything on the menu at his new pizzeria, Supremo, on Route 54.

“My pizza oven is the only one [of its kind] in the area,” explained Mensh. “I cook at 850 degrees — that’s the difference.”

With that kind of heat, Mensh can cook a pie in around three minutes, and up to 200 of them in an hour.

“It’s all about the temperature,” said Mensh, describing the oven as new technology with an old-school taste. “Most pizza places are conveyer belts. They cook about 500 degrees — 600 max if they’re lucky. Other brick ovens use wood. With my oven, with the spinning base of it, there’s never a cold spot.”

After the pizza is finished cooking, it goes on a special tray designed to let the steam out so the crust stays crispy. The process is so efficient that Supremo does everything to order — typically waiting until customers arrive to toss in their pie.

Bethany Blues shows off newly renovated bar with grand-reopening party

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : General Manger Nate Williams was joined by staff and Chamber members to celebrate the grand re-opening of Bethany Blues in downtown Bethany Beach last Friday night.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : General Manger Nate Williams was joined by staff and Chamber members to celebrate the grand re-opening of Bethany Blues in downtown Bethany Beach last Friday night.Bethany Blues kicked-off their grand-reopening party at their Bethany Beach location last Friday night, introducing the neighborhood to their newly renovated downstairs bar area.

At the event, attendees were able to enjoy a Bethany Blues menu featuring all their old favorites in the brand new bar — now equipped with 12 TVs, 15 beers on tap and an overall more welcoming atmosphere, according to General Manager Nate Williams.

“People are blown away by it,” said Williams. “Everybody’s been very supportive of how we changed it. They feel like it’s more warm and inviting.”

In addition to more TVs and nearly tripling their draft beer selection, the restaurant took both aesthetics and functionality into account in the revamped design, replacing not only the bar itself but the booths in the bar area with high-top tables.

“The bar was kind of an island, so we pulled the bar top off, and it juts out and goes straight back. That whole back area is brand new,” explained Williams. “We knocked out a wall and got rid of booths and put in high-top tables to make it more like a pub area.”

Taxpayers should see if they qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit

Working people have saved millions of dollars on their tax returns by filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit. That’s why U.S. Sen. Tom Carper swung by Georgetown’s First State Community Action Agency last week to share the importance of filing for the credit.

Harris Teeter to close Salt Pond store

The Harris Teeter grocery store company announced on Tuesday that it would be closing its Salt Pond location near Bethany Beach in two weeks. The store is the area’s newest Harris Teeter store, open at Salt Pond Plaza since March 31, 2010, on the heels of its first local store opening in West Fenwick.

Business owners voice frustration with project

After just one month with two localized Route 26 road closures, business owners are really feeling the pressure. As their small businesses suffer from being located on temporary dead-ends, they voiced their concerns at a Feb. 10 Construction Advisory Group meeting, saying they feel the contractor doesn’t feel their sense of urgency.

Coastal Athlete joins area fitness scene

Those looking to make good of their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and fit will find a unique opportunity at Bethany Beach’s new Coastal Athlete, a personal training studio.

West Fenwick locals getting hooked on Yellowfin’s

There are many bars and restaurants in the area, but it’s a little harder for a local resident find a place where “everybody knows your name,” especially along the Route 54 corridor east of Selbyville. However, there’s a new spot for the locals to gather now that Yellowfin’s Bar & Grill has opened its doors in the Williamsville Shopping Center.

Food donations earn discount at Blooming Boutique

Doing the right thing has its perks.

Blooming Boutique is hosting a food drive to benefit Food Bank of Delaware. All shoppers who donate will receive a discount coupon, from now until Feb. 17.

Discounts are applied to that day’s, purchase, or a future one, at all four locations in Bethany Beach, Rehoboth, Lewes and Milford.

Sophia’s offers fine jewelry and more

People passing through Fenwick Island may have noticed more shimmer and sparkle since Sophia’s Fine Jewelry opened its doors Dec. 4, 2014, offering one-of-a-kind jewelry, service, and most importantly, a chance to make precious memories.

Planet Maze kicks off a year-long 20th anniversary celebration

Planet Maze in Ocean City, Md., this week announced the kick off to a year-long celebration commemorating its 20th anniversary, featuring contests, specials and a birthday party.

SoDel Concepts’ Ruley to cook at James Beard House in NYC

Doug Ruley, corporate chef for Rehoboth Beach-based SoDel Concepts, has been invited to cook at the James Beard House on Friday, March 15.

Record night for Winter Founderland event

A record number of women joined the Fund for Women as new founders at the annual Fund for Women Sussex County fundraiser, “Winter Founderland.” Women shopped, had cocktails and appetizers, and participated in the event for the cause of supporting women and girls in Delaware.

Fun Fit Vibe makes some good vibrations in Millville

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Greg Mervine stands atop a Power Plate at his store, Fun Fit Vibe in MIllville, while using a paddle.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Greg Mervine stands atop a Power Plate at his store, Fun Fit Vibe in MIllville, while using a paddle.Greg Mervine believes that being proactive with his health is the least expensive form of health care. That’s why he brought his business, Fun Fit Vibe, to the corner of Central Avenue in Millville.

Fun Fit Vibe is not a gym, but pairs clients with coaches to work one-on-one, using the Power Plate.

The Power Plate is a small, round platform that vibrates at 25 to 50 times per second. Like most exercise machines, it has a handle and computer monitor attached.

People can stretch or exercise while the platform vibrates, stimulates muscles and encourages blood flow.

That stimulates muscles “down to a cellular level,” Mervine said. As the muscles expand and contract around the bone, the bone strengthens, and density increases. “It’s not overbearing. It’s low impact, high results.”

The vibration “naturally increases gravity by accelerating the platform you stand … on,” reads the Fun Fit Vibe website.

Although it can be used while people are stationary, Power Plate is even more effective during exercise.

Matt’s Fish Camp beer dinners in full swing

Matt’s Fish Camp in North Bethany on Dec. 17 hosted a four-course beer dinner featuring Oskar Blues Brewery that aimed to prove that beer, like wine, does pair well with food. The restaurant is holding beer dinners in the off-season on the third Wednesday of each month. The next event is scheduled for Jan. 21.

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