Jake’s to close its doors; Grotto spiffs up Sports Den; Yuengling’s alliance; More on DECO

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Restaurant closings and reopenings are commonplace this time of year at the beach, but the decision to close Jake’s Seafood on Coastal Highway still came as a bit of a surprise.

Owners Billy and Lois Klemkoski did not list or hint at any reasons for the closing in a letter posted on Facebook. However, Bill told the Sussex Countian a buyer for the property, a slower summer and the pandemic played into the decision.

We do know that the restaurant industry is exhausting for owners who are in the establishment nearly every night. The pandemic made things even worse and led to most establishments losing money.

Jake’s was a pioneer in the continuing trend of restaurants moving out to Coastal Highway from Rehoboth itself. The restaurant had a 17-year history at the location.

Along the way, the Rehoboth area became more of a year-around destination that could support more restaurants.

It wasn’t long ago that finding a nice restaurant in the winter months along Coastal Highway wasn’t easy.

That is no longer the case, as restaurants, some owned by multi-unit groups, take up residence.

Grotto spiffs up Sports Den in West Bethany

Grotto Pizza in West Bethany Beach recently celebrated the opening of its Grotto Sports Den following a year-long renovation /

Changes include more seating options, direct entry-way access, additional windows allowing for natural light inside the dining space and a new décor.

The Grotto Sports Den features more than a dozen large television screens throughout the restaurant

Sports areas have become a popular feature of Grotto restaurants.

More details have been released on the opening of DECO this week. The food hall has been closed since late March.

Back are all vendors, with the exception of Stripp’d Juice. Pizzeria Bardea, Connie’s Chicken & Waffles, Phubs, Al Chu’s Sushi, The Burger Joint, Stu & Sammy’s, and Spark’d Creative Pastry will will be open Monday through Friday.

Delivery is now available through Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, for guests to order from any or all of DECO’s variety of stalls in a single transaction. Pick-up orders, including alcohol, can be placed in a similar way through Toast.

For guests that chose to dine-in, DECO offers ample open-air seating, both indoors and outdoors Dine-in orders should also be placed online directly through each stall on Toast, and guests will be notified via text when their order is ready.

“DECO has always been known for its food, fun, and flexibility, and there is no difference now,” said Rich Snyder, director of food & beverage for The Buccini/Pollin Group. “We are proud to be able to easily adapt our business model to comply with today’s everchanging requirements without compromising quality or convenience.”

Yuengling forms venture with Molson-Coors

On the beverage side, we saw a groundbreaking announcement today when Molson-Coors and Yuengling announced a distribution deal that will send the Pennsylvania brewery’s brands out west.

The joint venture between Yuengling and Molson Coors will oversee any new market expansion beyond the 191-year-old brewer’s existing 22 state territory plus any future New England expansion.

The partnership is expected to begin by launching in the second half of 2021 and will be governed by a board of directors, consisting evenly of Yuengling and Molson Coors family members and executives.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. remains a family-owned business and the existing company will operate separately from the joint venture with Molson Coors.

The Yuengling family will work with the Coors and Molson brewing families, and the Molson Coors Beverage Company, to brew Yuengling products and expand their geographic footprint.

“We are excited to work with the Molson Coors’ team on this partnership,” said Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations and 6thgeneration family member, “Fans can expect the same Yuengling recipes and great taste they have come to love for more than 190 years.”

Yuengling has grown from a small Pennsylvania company whose brews were hard to find in Delaware to a regional powerhouse.

At the same time, Yuengling faces competition on all sides.

Boston Beer, which now owns Milton’s Dogfish Head, has successfully tapped into the growing fad for seltzers. Dogfish Head has beefed up its nationwide distribution system thanks in part to its affiliation with the brewer of Samuel Adams.

Molson-Coors, a Canadian-American hybrid, has to deal with the vast marketing resources of SAP-Miller and Anheuser-Busch Inbev, both multinational companies and has been in a cost-cutting mode.

While home consumption of beer is up, the keg business at restaurants and bars is down.

In other words, the deal makes a lot of sense for both companies.

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