Updated: May 2
Memorial Day: The Season Begins
Officially established in 1868 to honor the military men and women who sacrificed their lives defending our freedom, Memorial Day, in modern times, has also become the unofficial beginning of the summer season in the United States. School is out, and a new graduating class is entering the workforce. And, for many Americans, “The Season” is a time to take a break from structured work hours and demanding lives, to stop and enjoy some of life’s more endearing qualities of rest and relaxation.
Rehoboth Beach is a destination for many seeking a place to enjoy their time away from a daily routine. So, sit back, kick off your shoes, and enjoy this edition of the RBMS Newsletter to learn about some of the things happening during this busy time of the year. RBMS is spotlighting several businesses this month that are all about ensuring your time here is thoroughly enjoyed by one and all.
If you’re looking for a place to rest your head, be sure and check out the Boardwalk Plaza, a fine Victorian-style hotel on the boardwalk. With beachfront and ocean views from many of its rooms, the hotel offers a unique and comfortable respite from the world where you can get away from it all. The Rehoboth Beach Guest House is another of our unique places to stay. It has individually decorated guestrooms with many amenities. Here you will be within walking distance of many of Rehoboth’s restaurants and shopping destinations.
Having secured accommodations, you may want to find something to read while enjoying your time in the sun, sand, and surf. Sitting in the center of downtown is the Rehoboth Beach Library, which provides a plethora of information on current high-demand, high interest material in a variety of formats for both residents and summer visitors to enjoy. Of course, once you have your reading material for those relaxing moments you will want to check out some of the fine eateries that call Rehoboth home. You will enjoy dining at Stingray, a casual sushi bar and Asian grill that uses only the freshest seafood, ingredients, and local produce to create delectable dishes to please every palate. If you are more in the mood for Mexican food, Dos Locos Fajita & Stonegrill Restaurant is a welcoming eatery specializing in authentic Mexican food prepared as these dishes have been prepared for many years. And new this year is the recently renovated Above the Dunes Restaurant, which has reimagined its décor and is now one of the newest restaurants in Rehoboth. With fantastic ocean views, you will have a memorable dining experience that will not disappoint.
You can learn more about each of these featured establishments and much more later in this edition of the RBMS Newsletter.
Current and past issues of the newsletter are available on the RBMS Website at Newsletter | Home | Rehoboth Beach Main Street (downtownrb.com)
New Businesses & Membership Renewals
RBMS thanks the Purple Parrot Grill for renewing their membership at the Yellow Partner level!
RBMS thanks these businesses for renewing their membership!
For information about levels and benefits of RBMS membership, go to Join | Rehoboth Beach Main Street (downtownrb.com).
RBMS thanks Blue-level Partners The Canalside Inn and Dogfish/Chesapeake&Maine for their generous support!
Showcasing Rehoboth Beach Businesses Above the Dunes Above the Dunes, located at 101 S Boardwalk, 2nd Floor, is the newest seafood forward restaurant in Rehoboth Beach and features a superb boardwalk and ocean view! They joined RBMS in 2022 as a Yellow- level Partner.
Above the Dunes has everything from a raw bar and lobster rolls to hamburgers and flatbreads. They serve some of the best crab cakes in town, all lump and no filler. Try the homemade shrimp salad or one of the many refreshing garden salads. Above the Dunes is perfect for a trip off the beach or a fun relaxing dinner with family or friends. They have one of the largest selections of bourbon in town, as well as plenty of wines that pair perfectly with their fresh salmon or a NY Strip. Get there early to enjoy one of the many ocean-front seats on the patio or by the window. And, Above the Dunes has Happy Hour specials for the early birds at the bar. Phone: 302-226-2000.
RBMS celebrated the opening of Above the Dunes, with a ribbon cutting on April 19, 2022. Pictured, front row: Edward Chrzanowski, RBMS City Liaison; Mike Venanzi and Bob Frankis, Above the Dunes owners; Peter Pizzolongo and Richard Byrne, RBMS board; and Greer Maneval, RBMS President. Pictured, back row: Above the Dunes staff Shelly Gordy, Sam Latorre, Malea Miller, Cody Garland, Tina Buel, Clara Robertson, Morgan Edler, and Jim Betz. Dos Locos Dos Locos Fajita and Stonegrill, an award-winning local favorite located at 208 Rehoboth Avenue, is a dining destination to go loco about! Dos Locos, a RBMS Yellow-level Partner, has been catering to locals and tourists since 1992! The dining destination prides itself on customer service, an amazing experience, and being a consistent culinary pillar within the Rehoboth Beach community.
From mouth-watering quesadillas, huge burritos, and chimichangas, to stone-grilled lobster tail, scallops, lamb, and shrimp and steak! Serving both Mexican and American entrees, the Dos Locos menu has something for every foodie, including items for kids and a gluten-free menu—not to mention its extensive variety of over 90 types of tequilas and the patron’s choice of flavor. Dos Locos strives to serve the best margaritas downtown. Pairing dishes made with fresh ingredients alongside famous house drinks, this restaurant gives visitors something to go Loco about! Stop in today! We encourage you to go Loco at this local spot! Phone: 302-227-3353.
The Rehoboth Guest House
If you haven’t been to the Rehoboth Guest House at 40 Maryland Avenue before, you get an early appreciation for Rehoboth Beach’s last in-town B&B just by looking at the testimonials on their website – “…what a wonderful place…”, “the only downfall with this place is having to leave at some point…”. Rehoboth Guest House is a RBMS Green-level Partner. With 18 rooms and 16 baths, this gem sparkles and creates a warm, welcoming place to land footsteps from the beach, the restaurants, and other in-town points-of-interest. The Guest House, under the management of Innkeeper Tom Kelch, has had an overwinter sprucing up and is ready for the summer to begin. The inn features comfortable rooms in a beautifully maintained historic building just far enough off the city’s main streets to provide the relaxed setting people crave at the shore. And a sumptuous breakfast is included as well as free parking: no muss, no fuss!
The Guest House has played a significant part in Rehoboth Beach’s history, going back to 1979 when new owner Herbert Koerber opened it as The Paradise Guest House, which was focused on a Gay clientele. Tom has written extensively about the Inn’s history in a number of articles published in places such as The Washington Blade, Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, and the Philadelphia Gay News. He has made documenting the history, particularly the Gay history of the establishment, an avocation. He highlights the colorful history both as the Paradise and as the Rehoboth Guest House starting with new owners, Frank Colonnello and Garrett Wood, in 2013. Today, the Guest House is a welcoming destination for everyone looking for great in-town hospitability and a little bit of local history. Tom tells us that bookings for the season are moving at a good clip, but there is still availability, so don’t wait to book your accommodation for a great summer stay in 2022. For more information, contact The Rehoboth Guest House at 302-227-4117. Rehoboth Beach Library
Rehoboth Beach Public Library (RBPL), a RBMS Green-level Partner, sits in the center of downtown Rehoboth at 226 Rehoboth Avenue, across from City Hall and next to Summerhouse. RBPL strives to remain a vibrant part of this community by providing access to information and supports and encourages the freedom to read, learn, and discover in a welcoming environment. Rehoboth Beach Public Library is part of the Delaware Library Consortium. This allows RBPL to bring books in from other libraries in the state, as well as allowing returns to other libraries! In addition to traditional services, such as circulating books, RBPL provides access to many online electronic databases, including Hoopla and Libby for ebooks, audiobooks, music, and watching. Rehoboth Beach Public Library has expanded their collection with the Library of Things. You can check out Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots, and blood pressure cuffs, just like books! No card? No problem! Rehoboth Beach Public Library offers a variety of programming for adults as well as children. Other services include a Business Center with Internet terminals, printing, scanning, fax, and notary. Patrons have access to free WiFi with their own electronic devices. Or, you can check out the year-round book sale to find that next great beach read! Need a place to meet? Rehoboth Beach Public Library has 2 spaces for use: a small study room and a large meeting room available for private parties. Visit RBPL online at rehobothlibrary.org for hours, the full calendar of events, and more! Boardwalk Plaza Hotel
The Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, an RBMS Green-level Partner, has long had an iconic presence on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. With its charming Victorian exterior, visitors cannot help but notice the unique and elegant exterior as they stroll by! The rooms at the Boardwalk Plaza are beautifully furnished with antique Victorian furniture as well as reproductions of period pieces. Guests often enjoy the traditional setting and warmth of the decor. However, the Victorian ambiance does not mean that the hotel lacks many modern amenities for its guests! These include free high-speed WiFi, a fitness center, and Keurig coffee makers in each room. Guests are also provided with a mini- fridge and microwave. Additionally, the hotel offers one complimentary parking spot for each room.
Unique to Rehoboth is the heated soaking pool at the Boardwalk Plaza. During the day the pool is open for families, but in the evening it’s reserved for adults-only enjoyment. Guests can even sip a poolside cocktail while relaxing at the pool. Also unique to Rehoboth is the renowned Victoria’s Restaurant located right alongside the boardwalk with outstanding views of the beach. Offering three meals every day, brunch on Sunday, and afternoon tea midweek, diners often rave about the food. Guests are also invited to dine at the Plaza Pub, a cozy oceanfront lounge offering cocktails and light fare.
Finally, the Boardwalk Plaza provides banquet rooms for weddings, meetings, and other special events. To book your stay or get more information, check out the Boardwalk Plaza’s website at https://boardwalkplaza.com/ or call 800-33-BEACH. You will enjoy every moment of your stay. Stingray Sushi Bar & Asian Grill
If you are looking for a delicious and ultramodern dining experience, look no further than Stingray Sushi Bar & Asian Grill! The restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of downtown, a short walking distance to all of the shops, clubs, and hotels that Rehoboth Beach has to offer.
Stingray features a diverse menu with Asian-inspired dishes. In addition to the dinner menu, the restaurant offers an award-winning late-night menu, along with many drink specials, daily happy hour, and off-season specials. Fan favorites include the Hairy Mexican Roll, Firecracker Shrimp, and Pork Belly Fried Rice. Helpful fact: There are excellent menu options for the gluten-free or dairy-free diners in your party. Finally, the delicious sushi and sashimi at Stingray never fail to impress!
Relax outside on the wonderful patio or enjoy a cozy casual meal in the indoor dining room. The staff is always accommodating and friendly, from the moment you enter the door. To top it all off, Stingray offers free parking in its large lot!
For a superlative dining experience, stop by Stingray at 59 Lake Avenue. Their full menu & sushi are also available for carry-out. Ordering ahead is definitely recommended: 302-227- 6476. Rehoboth in Bloom: The Oldies Dance!
The Oldies Dance is set for Friday night, April 29, at the Convention Center. Ticket sales have been hot but there are some still available if you call the RBMS Office at 302-227- 2772. This dance is the year's biggest fund-raising event for Rehoboth in Bloom and provides resources for the wonderful work Bloom does to beautify our downtown area. Thank you to all the companies that donated to make this a spectacular event.! Thank you to the wonderful dance committee! Thank you to the community for all the support we receive from you. News from Rehoboth Beach Main Street
This column highlights the work of the RBMS Executive Director, Dan Slagle, the RBMS Board, and the five committees, focusing on the behind-the-scenes work of the staff and volunteers, as well as the activities that are planned and carried out. For information about Dan, the RBMS Board, and the committees, go to About RBMS | Rehoboth Beach Main Street (downtownrb.com). Recent Activities of RBMS The RBMS Board held a Strategic Planning Session on April 9. The day’s activities began with opening remarks by RBMS President, Greer Maneval, “We ARE Our City’s Ambassadors—Our Plan and Process.” This was followed by a panel presentation featuring Rehoboth Beach Mayor Stan Mills, Commissioner Jay Lagree, RBHA President Mark Saunders, and business representatives Mike Venanzi, Drexel Davison, Mike Furnari. Issues addressed during the day included ways in which RBMS can be most helpful to businesses, the community, and homeowners; strategies for enhancing communication and promotion of RBMS members; and ways in which RBMS can serve as a convenor to address current challenges, such as housing and transportation for staff during The Season.
Dan Slagle, Executive Director, has been busy meeting and talking with downtown business owners—this month 15 businesses have renewed their RBMS membership, and we have 3 new businesses! Dan attended meetings of the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners Association, the Delaware Small Business Development Center—Main Street Meet & Greet, and Business Network International. Dan and RBMS board members Cindy Lovett and Terry Kistler were interviewed by the Rehoboth Foodie, Bob Yesbek, on radio WGMD to promote RBMS activities and events.
The Design Committee and Rehoboth in Bloom members are happy that plans are finalized, and many tickets are sold for the April 29 Oldies Dance fundraiser. Much thanks to the vendors who contributed to the success of the event. Rehoboth in Bloom has begun planning for a new garden at the Rehoboth Beach Museum.
RBMS thanks the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department for filling 31 downtown planters (the planters that are not near a water source). The Design Committee finalized plans for the 2022 Cottage and Town Awards.
The Economic Vitality Committee is working with the Organization Committee to plan After Hours Mixers for downtown businesses and residents. The Committee also has been gathering ParkMobile data to identify where visitors that use ParkMobile originate from based upon the billing ZIP code. This data will be provided to businesses so that they can target their social media and other promotions for the specific geographic area that the majority of our visitors come from.
The Organization Committee has finalized the RBMS Volunteer Manual and is ‘rolling out’ the new Ambassador Program, for which each RBMS member receives visits from an RBMS volunteer Ambassador who will provide updates on RBMS activities/events, solicit feedback, and ensure that promised benefits are received by each member. The Committee is coordinating with the Economic Vitality Committee to plan the upcoming After Hours Mixers.
The Promotions Committee members are happy with the large number of ticket sales for the Gumbo Crawl, which is co-sponsored with RBMS Yellow-level Partner Purple Parrot. Many thanks to the vendors that donated cups and other supplies and the volunteers who assisted with check-ins and voting. The Committee is developing plans for the November 13 Fashion Show.
The Communications Committee discussed ways that RBMS social media and website offerings can be enhanced, including the use of videos, moving images on the website, text alerts, and more. The Committee continued its ongoing newsletter development and oversight for social media and website updates. Thank You!
RBMS and the Purple Parrot would like to thank Sysco and Holt Paper for their generosity in support of Rehoboth Beach's Annual Gumbo Crawl!
Recognizing Our Volunteers: Sandra Skidmore Sandra Skidmore joined RBMS as a volunteer for our Organization Committee earlier this year, working primarily on membership and events. She has just recently joined our Board of Directors, too. Welcome, Sandra! Sandra is well-known about town for her exuberant joy of life and the myriad of volunteer roles she does for other organizations, as well. She has been part of the Rehoboth community for more than 35 years; first as a summer shareholder and seasonal renter and then as a homeowner. She is a Founder’s Circle member of CAMP Rehoboth and has volunteered there for more than 30 years. During that time, Sandra worked on many events including Sundance (most recently and prior to the COVID pandemic as Team Leader for the Sundance Auction), the Love Benefit, the Black and White Ball, the HeART of the Community Art Auction, the CAMP Rehoboth Follies, the Silver Anniversary Celebration, Mermaid Splash, Starburst Gala, the Bachelor Auction, Women’s FEST, the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, World’s AIDS Day, and the Block Party. She currently sings with and serves as Secretary on the Leadership Committee of the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus.
Originally from Baltimore Maryland, Sandra volunteered and worked with numerous not- for-profit organizations in that city. When the AIDS crisis began, Sandra served on the board as Secretary for Moveable Feast, an organization that provided meals to homebound people with AIDS and their dependents. She co-chaired the fundraiser “Dining Out for Life” during its first two years of existence in Baltimore and served as the Corporate Chair for AIDSwalk Baltimore. As a member of the Junior League of Baltimore, she was the Junior League of Maryland Delegate in 1998 and received the Annapolis Bowl Award. Before moving to Rehoboth Beach full time, Sandra was a longtime volunteer with the Maryland SPCA. She founded and continues to support the Pippi Fund (named after a beloved pet she adopted from MDSPCA). The fund has existed for more than ten years.
We’re lucky that Sandra has brought her incredible energy and experience to Rehoboth Beach Main Street. When asked what she is looking forward to accomplishing here she said, “Rehoboth Beach Main Street is all about supporting a strong and viable community for our businesses, residents, and visitors. I really appreciate Main Street’s values and all the things that make downtown Rehoboth such a special place. I’m excited about the opportunity to give back to the community. Main Street is a great place to get involved!”
Cottage and Town Awards
Rehoboth Beach Main Street is hosting an Open House / Volunteer Recognition Event and Kick-Off for the RBMS Cottage and Town Awards on Saturday, May 7, at the RBMS office, 10:00–11:30am. Refreshments will be served, and details about the upcoming Cottage and Town Awards will be available. The Cottage and Town Awards contest dates are May 10 to August 7. Nominations are currently being accepted. The award categories are: Residential Renovation, Restoration; New Construction; Landscape Design; and Commercial Construction. Applications are available on the RBMS website. Winners will be announced on August 22. We thank Turnstone Builders, our first sponsor for the 2022 awards! Summer Jobs in Rehoboth Beach
Best practices when hiring/retaining seasonal employees Note: This is an update to the article that originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of the RBMS Newsletter.
As business owners are preparing for the Summer Season, many are hiring seasonal employees. We offer these tips as suggestions for hiring the “right people” and retaining staff through the summer.
We start with the importance of complying with Delaware labor regulations: minimum wage, pay (overtime, nights, weekends), and offering health insurance. Note that there are labor regulations for hiring teenagers aged 14–17.
To attract seasonal employees, we suggest employers write targeted job descriptions. The job ad should clearly state if you are hiring seasonal employees; it is best to mention that in the job title. It is also important to note the physical demands of the job, such as “While performing the duties of this job, work is performed outside in all weather conditions as well as indoors. Indoor time is spent on the computer and telephone, as well as interacting with customers.” “The position duties include walking, standing for periods of time, and lifting heavy items.”
Identify the work schedule. Candidates for a position want to know how many days and hours they will be working and whether there is any flexibility around work schedules. By being clear about working hours, you avoid deal-breakers and scheduling conflicts. This is especially important for retail seasonal employment.
Explain your compensation structure. Being vague about whether you are hiring hourly or salaried employees will turn applicants off. Clarify how (and how much) you will pay your employees and mention if the position is commission-based.
Select the best places to advertise your seasonal jobs. Sources include Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, Snagajob (for hourly employees), TV, radio, newspapers, and your business website and social media outlets. If you are looking for local candidates, consider advertising on local radio stations. You could also place print ads in schools and colleges, community centers, and, if you are in retail, outside of your store.
Interview candidates in groups. Group interviews can speed up the hiring process, especially if you are recruiting more than one employee for the same position (e.g., salespeople for your store.) This will also be helpful if the role involves communication, presentation, and collaboration, as you will have the chance to see how candidates interact in group settings.
Hire for culture fit, not just skills. Do not overlook culture fit simply because you are hiring temporary employees. Seasonal employees interact with customers, promote your products and services, and represent your company. Look for candidates who are not only able to do the job but understand your values and business objectives and will be advocates for your brand.
Here are some examples of culture fit interview questions to ask candidates: What do you hope to achieve during your time working here? What would make you quit a job in the first week or month? What would you do if a customer approached you with questions right before the end of your shift?
Offer end-of-season incentive. Employees who quit during peak season create gaps in your workforce when you want to be as productive as possible. To avoid recruiting from scratch, consider offering an end-of-season bonus. This will motivate employees to stay with your company through the entire season.
Note the perks your position offers. Perks might include end-of-season bonuses, discounts on merchandise or services, flexible schedules, and/or gym membership. Additionally, mention if there is flexibility in how you define “season” since a longer or shorter term of employment might appeal to the candidate. Other perks could focus on unique incentives and employee recognition programs. Similarly, discount coupons for friends and family could be offered. Consider how employee parties throughout the season may boost morale and improve collaborative relationships. Identify how competitive the wages are in comparison to similar, nearby employers. If the position offers opportunity to advance and gain supervisor experience, it is generally a good selling feature for an employee early in their career. Other incentives might include contests for the most sales and prizes could include a lunch, merchandise, gift cards, and/or a free parking pass. Patience Needed!
Note: This is an update to an article from the May 2021 Issue of the RBMS Newsletter.
This summer season will continue to present some challenges for Rehoboth Beach businesses. COVID guidelines have changed, and businesses have returned to their licensed number of patrons for indoor seating. Outdoor dining is more limited, and fewer businesses will continue to have outdoor seating. However, for reasons beyond Rehoboth Beach businesses’ control, the staffing shortage continues throughout the region (throughout the country!). Adequate staffing for full-time operations remains difficult for many businesses, and current staff are working long hours to meet the needs of patrons. Some restaurants may not be open to full capacity, or not open 7 days a week, due to the staffing shortage. Wait-time for being seated and for being served will most likely be longer than typical summer wait times.
We urge our local and visiting patrons to understand what is happening and to be patient with the staff, who are working hard to meet your needs. If going out to dine or shop, anticipate the longer wait times, take a breath, and enjoy your time out of the house! RBMS and our member businesses thank you for your understanding and patience! Save the Date Rehoboth Beach Museum Program for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Visitors Winter Hours—Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10:00 to 11:00am (for the program for deaf and hard-of- hearing visitors) 511 Rehoboth Avenue The Rehoboth Beach Museum invites deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors to join a museum docent and an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for a tour of our current exhibits. Visitors will explore both permanent exhibits and the special exhibit, “The Storm of ’62.” The tour is free with registration. For more information and to register please visit www.rehobothbeachmuseum.org and click on the listing for the ASL guided tour on the calendar of Museum events. The Museum is handicap accessible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market Tuesday, May 3, 10:00am to 2:00pm Grove Park The Farmers Market 2022 Reopening is May 3. The Farmers Market will be held in Grove Park every Tuesday through October, rain or shine. Stay tuned for more details on their Facebook page. They can’t wait to see you!!
UNICO Rehoboth Area Lasagna Dinner Thursday, May 5, 5:00pm to 7:00pm St. Edmond Church Hall, 409 King Charles Avenue UNICO is the largest Italian American organization in the United States. The Rehoboth Area dinner will include caprese antipasto, home-made lasagna, salad, garlic bread, dessert, and coffee. Tickets are $15.00, and a cash bar will be available. Tickets can be purchased from any UNICO member or by sending a check made out to UNICO-Rehoboth to Treasurer, Joe Torres, P.O. Box 792, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971.