Second Papa Grande’s to open in Rehoboth Beach

A year after opening Papá Grande’s Coastal Taquería near Fenwick Island, veteran restaurateur and James Beard honoree Matt Haley announced this week that a second location of the restaurant will debut in space recently occupied by Cabo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar in downtown Rehoboth Beach. If all goes as scheduled, he said, the Rehoboth Papa Grande’s will open its doors in mid-May.

The location was also once home to Chez La Mer, which Haley said helped pioneer the culinary movement in the resort town.

“I’ve loved the building for a long time,” said Haley, whose Matt Haley Companies has a total of eight coastal restaurants, in addition to a catering company, hospitality management firm and hospitality consulting division.

“Both this building and the Papa Grande’s location in Fenwick have a link to the community’s history. They both also have outdoor dining, charm and character. And the Rehoboth location is on the wonderful street corner at Wilmington Avenue and Second Street, which is becoming a major hub for the restaurant scene.”

Doug Ruley, corporate chef of the Matt Haley Companies and a partner in the Papa Grande’s ventures, will oversee the menu, which Haley said will be similar to the first Papa Grande’s. As is the case in Fenwick, taco options will run the gamut, from goat to grilled chicken thighs to crispy fish. But don’t be surprised to see a Spam-and-pineapple or a scrapple-apple offering on the lengthy list of possibilities, he noted. A baby kale and cactus salad comes with roasted corn and cotija.

Expect chicken and queso quesadillas, as well as those packed with lobster and corn. Entrees include skirt steak fajitas, snapper Veracruz and mussels and chorizo in a Mexican tomato broth with cilantro and garlic butter. Mexican street corn — “a cob liberally slathered with crema and queso then kissed with lime and dusted with chile powder and sea salt” — will make it to the Rehoboth menu. There is a lengthy list of specials each day.

On the bar side, Papá Grande’s offers a tequila selection, complemented by tequila and rum tasting menus. Specialty cocktails include the Spicy Margarita, made with Sauza Blue Blanco, peppers, lime and agave. The Matt Haley Companies has also unveiled a line of artisan sodas that were designed to enhance the flavors in its restaurants.

The décor in the Rehoboth location will get an overhaul that will include new furniture and kitchen equipment. “It will be gorgeous — the same color pattern and look as the Fenwick location,” Haley said.

This is the first time that Haley has duplicated a restaurant concept. Why start now? “By popular demand,” he said, “we are bringing Papa Grande’s to Rehoboth.”

Papá Grande’s Coastal Taquería will be located at 210 Second Street in Rehoboth Beach. The original location is at 8929 Madison Avenue, west of Fenwick Island. For more information, visit or call (302) 436-7272.