After Gov. John Carney’s ban on dine-in service at restaurants and bars, which went into effect earlier this week, area businesses are navigating the “new normal” in an effort to continue to serve their customers while keeping the customers and their employees safe.
Since the announcement comes at a time of year when eateries in the beach resorts are getting ready to reopen for the summer season, some owners have had to wrestle with the question of whether to open and offer carry-out and/or delivery or remain closed for at least the near future.
Others that stay open throughout the year, either full-time or part-time, are also struggling to figure out what works best for them. Either way, the dine-in ban came on what is normally a busy week as many prepared for St. Patrick’s Day crowds that never came — as the ban was announced March 16.
“It’s devastating,” said Dana Banks, owner of The Parkway restaurant in Bethany Beach.
“You go week-to-week this time of year,” often taking weather and other factors into consideration regarding when to open back up and offer full dining service, she said. The timing of the Easter holiday often plays a part, as well.
Banks, who has owned The Parkway for 23 years, said she does not believe this will be a short-term ban.
“I don’t think two weeks is going to be it,” she said.
The impact on the area economy is likely to be major.
“Employees are unemployed,” she said. “I can’t pay them,” if there’s little or no income for the restaurant. “That’s very frustrating.”
While she’s concerned about her business, Banks said she also has more basic worries, just like everyone else who is struggling to function in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the precautions against it. “I’m also concerned about me and my family and my employees getting food,” she said.
In the days leading up to Carney’s announcement, many businesses, including restaurants and bars, reached out to their customers via email and social media, reassuring them that they were taking every precaution to ensure customers’ safety.
They also urged customers to stay home if they felt the slightest bit ill.
Just four days before being forced to close dining services, Josh Grapski of La Vida Hospitality Group outlined procedures his businesses, including Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes, had instituted to ensure the safety of customers and employees.
“Over the past weeks we have instituted strict procedures in our restaurants, including the regular and frequent sanitation of all tables, chairs, bar tops, bathrooms, door handles, knobs and other areas where germs are most likely to be transmitted from person to person,” Grapski said.
Even before Carney’s announcement, restaurants had started to feel the impact of the spread of COVID-19 as the holiday weekend began. At the Cottage Café in Bethany Beach on Friday, March 13, popular entertainer Frank Raines, who performs as “Elvis, Frank & Raines” in local eateries, looked out over a bar area that was not nearly as full as it normally is at the start of the mid-March St. Patrick’s weekend.
By Tuesday, Cottage Café owner Brent Poffenberger took to Facebook Live to greet customers and let them know that St. Patrick’s Day fare would be available for carry-out, posting an update later that the restaurant was out of corned beef but still had other menu items available.
Banks said the ban would have a huge impact on eateries of all sizes as days stretch into weeks and spring moves toward the summer season.
“This has never happened in my lifetime,” she said, adding that the unknowns are what make things so hard right now.
Kristina Malone, who opened Kristina’s Kitchen in Millville barely a month ago, acknowledged that her “grab-and-go” concept, with no dine-in service available, gives her a bit of an advantage in the face of the new regulations.
“I’m really trying to stay super-positive,” Malone said. “People are just kind of in a little bit of a panic,” in trying to deal with restrictions imposed as the virus spreads.
She said she has experience with delivering food from earlier business ventures and had offered it as an option at Kristina’s Kitchen even before the dining ban. She hoped that the “buzz” around her new business would continue through the coming weeks and possibly months as people stay in their homes more.
“The fear is what’s going to hurt us,” Malone said. “We have a lot going for us. It’s just that people want to stay inside.”
Carney on Wednesday afternoon issued a second update to the emergency declaration, aimed at offering some support for restaurants. The revised declaration allows any restaurant, brewpub, tavern or taproom with a valid on-premise license to sell alcoholic beverages as part of transactions for take-out food, delivery or drive through food service.
Alcohol sales cannot exceed 40 percent of the total sales transaction, and all other rules and regulations regarding the take-out of alcoholic beverages apply, including that containers must be securely closed. Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on-site, neither indoors nor outdoors. The policy was to go into effect at 8 p.m. on March 18, and will last until the State of Emergency is rescinded, Carney said.
For an updated list of area restaurants that are open and providing carry-out service and/or delivery, check the food section of the Coastal Point website at www.coastalpoint.com. Restaurant owners can update the list by providing their information via an online form.
Local restaurants offering carry-out, delivery
|Restaurant||Address||City||Phone||Fax||Website||Hours of operation||Services||Delivery Fee||3rd Party Delivery||Order By||Full/limited menu||Payment accepted||Contactless delivery?|
|99 Sea Level||99 Hollywood St||Bethany Beach||(302) 539-0299||Info@99sealevel.com||https://www.99sealevel.com||Open 7 days 12pm-8pm||Carryout||Telephone,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Al Casapulla's Subs, Steaks & Pizza||Route 26||Millville||(302) email@example.com||http://alcasapullas.com||Mon thru Sat 11-8||Carryout||In person||Full menu||Credit card||No|
|Applebee's||36501 Seaside Outlet Blvd||Rehoboth Beach||(302) 226-5307||Everyday 12-8||Curbside,Delivery by thirdparty service||Telephone,Website,App||Limited menu||Credit card,Mobile or online payment||No|
|Bethany Blues BBQ||6 N Pennsylvania Ave||Bethany Beach||(302) 537-1500||Zach@bethanyblues.com||https://bethanyblues.com/||7 days a week 12-8pm||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff||3||Telephone,Website,App,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||Yes|
|Big Fish Market||20312 Coastal Highway||Rehoboth Beach||(302) 227-3665||Marybeth@bigfishgrill.com||http://www.bigfishgrillmarket.com||Sun-Thurs 11:30am-7pm; Fri & Sat 11:30am-8pm||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone,Website||Full menu||Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment||No|
|Bluecoast Bethany||30904 Coastal Hwy||Bethany Beach||(302) 539-7111||http://www.bluecoastseafoodgrill.com||Daily 4-8PM||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|The Blue Crab||210 Garfield Parkway||Bethany Beach||(302) firstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.bethanybluecrab.com||Daily, noon to 7 p.m.||Curbside||Telephone,Website||Limited Menu||Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment||No|
|CoCoLo Sushi||776 Garfield Parkway||Bethany Beach||(302) 829-8784||https://cocolosushi.com||Open at 4:30 p.m.||Carryout||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|The Cottage Cafe||33034 Coastal Highway||Bethany Beach||(302) 539-8710||https://cottagecafe.com/||Noon to 8 p.m.||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone,Website||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Cove Bar & Grille||31806 Lakeview Drive||Selbyville||(302) email@example.com||https://www.livebayside.com/amenties/delaware-beach-community-cove-bar-grill||M-Su, 12pm-8pm||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by thirdparty service||Telephone||Limited menu||Credit card||No|
|Cracker Barrel||19550 Coastal Hwy||Rehoboth Beach||(302) 226-8993||(302) 226-8995||http://crackerbarrel.com||8am to 8pm||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by thirdparty service||Olo, Door dash,||Website,App,Fax,In person||Limited menu||Cash,Credit card,Personal check,Mobile or online payment||No|
|The Den at Bear Trap Dunes||7 Clubhouse Drive||Ocean View||(302) firstname.lastname@example.org||http://www.beartrapdunes.com/||M-Su, 11 am-8pm||Carryout||Telephone||Limited menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Fenwick Crabhouse||100 Coastal Highway, #7||Fenwick Island||(302) 539-2500||Urbanangler2561@gmail.com||Call in by Wednesday at noon to pick up crabcakes on Friday||Carryout||Telephone||Limited menu||Cash||No|
|FINS Ale House Bethany Beach||33544 Market Place||Bethany Beach||(302) 539-3467||Contact@finsgroup.com||http://www.finsrawbar.com||Wednesday-Sunday 1130am-8pm||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Fox's Pizza, Millville||Rt. 26, Giant Shopping Center||Millville||(302) 539-6900||https://foxspizzade.com/||7 Days||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff||1.5||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Good Earth Market & Restaurant||31806 Good Earth Ln,||Ocean View||(302) 537-7100||7 days 9am to 9pm||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff||5||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Harpoon Hanna's||39064 Harpoon Road||Fenwick Island||(302) 539-3095||Harpoonhannas@gmail.com||https://www.harpoonhannasrestaurant.com||Sunday through Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-9pm||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone,In person||Limited menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar||38069 Town Center Drive||Millville||(302) email@example.com||https://hookeduprawbar.com/||11 am-8 pm||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Long Neck Deli||32362 Longneck Rd||Millsboro||(302) 945-7575||Monday- Sunday. 10-6||Carryout||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|The Landing Bar & Grille||20301 Charlotte Blvd||Millsboro||(302) firstname.lastname@example.org||https://plantationlakesclub.com/dining/||Mon-Sunday 12-6pm||Curbside||Telephone||Limited menu||Credit card||No|
|Matt's Fish Camp Bethany||28635 Coastal Hwy||Bethany Beach||(302) 539-2267||http://www.mattsfishcampbethany.com||Daily 11:30am-8pm||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone,Website||Full menu||Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment||No|
|McCabe's Gourmet Market||34444 Coastal Highway, Unit 1||South Bethany||(302) 539-8550||(302) email@example.com||http://www.mccabesgourmet.com||Closed Monday. Tuesday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday - Saturday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.||Carryout||Telephone,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card,Personal check||No|
|Morning Buns Bake Shop||68 Atlantic Avenue||Ocean View||(302) firstname.lastname@example.org||http://morningbunsbakeshop.com||Thursday - Tuesday 7am-12pm closed Wednesday||Carryout||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card,Mobile or online payment||No|
|Northeast Seafood Kitchen||29F Atlantic Avenue||Ocean View||(302) 537-1785||http://www.northeastseafoodkitchen.com||Daily 4-8PM||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Ocean View Family Restaurant||42 Atlantic Ave||Ocean View||(302) 539-4864||https://www.oceanviewfamilyrestaurantde.com/mobile/#home/index||Sun 7-2, Mon-Wed 7-2, Thur-Sat 7-7||Carryout,Delivery by staff||Telephone,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Off the Hook||769 Garfield Pkwy||Bethany Beach||(302) email@example.com||https://offthehookbethany.com/||11 am-8 pm||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone||Limited menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Perucci's Classic Italian Restaurant||35507 Atlantic Avenue||Millville||(302) 828-8727||Sunday - Saturday 5pm-8pm||Carryout||Door Dash||Telephone,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Ropewalk Bethany Beach||107 Garfield Pkwy||Bethany Beach||(302) 537-1330||Brian@ropewalk.com||https://ropewalk.com||Friday-Sunday 12-10||Curbside||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|The Salted Rim||27 Atlantic Avenue||Ocean View||(302) firstname.lastname@example.org||https://www.saltedrimde.com||11:00am - 8:00pm||Carryout||Telephone||Full menu||Credit card||No|
|Smitty McGee's Restaurant||37234 Lighthouse Road||West Fenwick||(302) 436-4716||(302) 436-6031||http://www.smittymcgees.com||11am to 8pm||Carryout,Curbside||Telephone||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Summer Salts Beach Grill||33548 Market Place||Bethany Beach||(302) email@example.com||http://summersaltsbeachgrill.com||Daily, noon to 9 p.m.||Carryout,Curbside,Delivery by staff||Telephone,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|
|Sunshine Crepes||100 Garfield Parkway||Bethany Beach||(302) 537-1765||Saturday and Sunday 8:30am-2pm, www.sunshinecrepes.com||Carryout||Telephone,In person||Full menu||Cash,Credit card||No|