DiFebo clan takes on dining at Bear Trap

The DiFebo name has become a culinary icon throughout the area, and now they’re adding a little more to their plate. This weekend, the family will debut as the new owners of Difebo’s Bistro on the Green at Bear Trap Dunes, bringing a lot of love back to their family and the community.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have something like this,” said an ecstatic Lisa DiFebo-Osias, who, along with her father, Robert, and her husband, Jeff Osias, helped start the restaurant that bears the family’s name, in 1989 in Bethany Beach. “We really want this place to explode.”

Patrons can expect the same fine dining and entertainment that the former Bistro at Bear Trap Dunes had offered, with an even more friendly face.

“I’m eager to work once again with my brother Bobby,” she added. “We’ll still be bringing great American cuisine, and now we’ll be able to do it in a beautiful atmosphere.”

Customers can expect to find homemade pastas, fresh seafood and brick-oven pizzas, among a variety of other offerings. The kitchen will be headed by DiFebo’s very own Ricardo Jimenez, who will balance his time and style in both restaurants.

While no major changes are expected until after the first of the year, DiFebo-Osias noted that she’s eager to accent and extenuate several features around the Bear Trap restaurant. The accommodating area will allow for banquets and parties that the original DiFebo’s restaurant could not provide.

“A lot of people come to DiFebo’s looking for catering,” she added. “They want the restaurant to provide a banquet, and we didn’t have that ability before.”

Now, guests can indulge in some of the area’s most appealing dishes in parties hosting up to 250 people.

“It’s really great,” she said. “This is what we do best.”

Traditional entertainment, including a D.J. on Friday nights and karaoke on Saturdays will still be held at DiFebo’s Bistro, while guests can enjoy a 12-piece swing band, among other entertainment, in January and February.

Tom Halverstadt, senior vice president and general manager of Carl M. Freeman Companies, developers of Bear Trap Dunes, was also eager for the new venture.

“We are excited to have the DiFebo-Osias family at Bear Trap Dunes,” he said in a press release this week. “Their success in the restaurant business for the past 20 years is well-known, and we couldn’t be happier that they have chosen to open a new location in our clubhouse.”

Jeff Osias and Lisa DiFebo-Osias echoed Helverstadt’s comments, saying, “We are thrilled about this new endeavor for DiFebo’s and are honored to be a part of the community. We are proud to carry on Josh Freeman’s vision and legacy.”

The late chairman of the Freeman Companies was DiFebo-Osias’ brother-in-law. Her sister Michelle DiFebo Freeman has continued to serve as a close adviser to the DiFebo’s business, as well as on the board of the Freeman Companies and its charitable foundations.

“He loved this place,” DiFebo-Osias added of Freeman’s attachment to Bear Trap. “It was his baby, I’m ready to make it a part of the family and part of the community, and really bring back the spirit of what he envisioned and stood for. I hope the community accepts us and gives us a chance to get our feet wet. We want to learn what the community members want.”

The family is wasting no time around the holidays, as they prepare for the move of their other esteemed restaurant, Isabella’s Pizzeria, which will reopen in its new location across Route 26 in Bethany Beach, directly between DiFebo’s Restaurant and Capriotti’s Sandwiches. The new Isabella’s is set to reopen in early March 2009 and provide guests with a more inviting, warmer atmosphere.

“It’s been hectic,” said DiFebo-Osias, “but we’re ready to take it all on.”

Stop in to DiFebo’s Bistro on the Green today, located in the clubhouse of Bear Trap Dunes, just off Central Avenue in Ocean View for more information, or for more information or reservations, call the clubhouse at (302) 537-5600.