Bethany Beach News

Town of Bethany Beach, DE

Population:

  • 1,077 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Third Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m., Town Council Chambers

Elections:

  • First Saturday in September, alternating slate of four and three seats, two-year terms; mayor/council president chosen from among the council, with a one-year term

Town office:

  • 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Jack Gordon, Mayor
  • Lew Kilmer, Vice-Mayor
  • Jerry Dorfman, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Joseph Healy
  • Rosemary Hardiman
  • Chuck Peterson
  • Margaret Bogan Young

Town Manager:

  • Cliff Graviet

Town Clerk:

  • Lisa A. Kail

Director of Finance:

  • Janet Connery

Building Official:

  • Susan Frederick

Public Works Director:

  • Brett J. Warner

Standing committees:

  • Audit Committee, Board of Adjustments, Board of Assessment, Budget & Finance Committee, Charter and Ordinance Review Committee, Cultural and Historic Affairs Committee, Design Review Committee for C-1 & C-2, Planning Commission,

Police:

  • Mike Redmon, Chief

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-1000

Town Office:

  • (302) 539-8011

Beach patrol:

  • Joe Donnelly
  • The Beach Patrol is on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend (on Saturday) and each day thereafter until Labor Day Monday, and each weekend through September.

Trash pick-up:

  • Every Monday during the offseason and every Monday (Zone 1) & Tuesday (Zone 2)based on two zones during the Summer season.

Curbside recycling:

  • Every other Wednesday in the offseason, and every Wednesday (Zone 1) & Thursday (Zone 2), based on two zones during the Summer season.

Bethany prepares for possible gift of founder’s house

The Town of Bethany Beach is getting a big gift just in time for the holiday season, but it’s a gift at least a few residents hope they’ll return, or at least relocate. Resident Christina Edgar and her family have offered to donate to the Town the historic Dinker Cottage, first built in the town around 1902 by one of its founding fathers, Pittsburgh businessman William A. Dinker.

Burnzy’s Bar & Grill opens up near Bethany

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The Burnzy’s Bar & Grill crew with owners Jackie and Matt Burns and business partner Robbie Bedell front and center.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The Burnzy’s Bar & Grill crew with owners Jackie and Matt Burns and business partner Robbie Bedell front and center.Buffalo wings, brisket, cheesesteaks and sports headline at Burnzy’s Bar & Grill near Bethany Beach — the newest venture from owner and local restauranteur Matt Burns.

Taking over the space previously occupied by Turquoise in the Market Place at Sea Colony Burns and his team have completely renovated the space to turn it into what they’re hoping will become a staple of the area and hotspot for sports fans in Bethany Beach.

And with a completely revamped bar and dining area, bartenders and waitresses clad in a referee uniforms, and the walls lined with sports memorabilia, with an array of local teams represented, the atmosphere reflects that of the menu for locals and tourists alike.

“Everybody’s so excited for us to be here. They love the atmosphere,” Burns said of the renovations. “There was so much to do before we could even think about the theme, so it kind of happened as we were building it. I tried to do a classic sports theme throughout.”

Christmas parades warm up the season

It’s time to bundle up, grab some hot chocolate and prepare those Christmas lists, and local towns will welcome the holiday season with the annual Christmas parades.

Hagen, Cummings, Barton headline Entrepreneur Symposium

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Mike Cumming of Mikken Builders, left, Steve Hagen of the Off the Hook Restaurant Group, center, and Phil Barton of Barton’s Landscaping answered questions for future entrepreneurs at the South Coastal Library on Monday, Nov. 23.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Mike Cumming of Mikken Builders, left, Steve Hagen of the Off the Hook Restaurant Group, center, and Phil Barton of Barton’s Landscaping answered questions for future entrepreneurs at the South Coastal Library on Monday, Nov. 23.When the 38th District Republican Club met on Monday, Nov. 23, it wasn’t to discuss politics.

Instead they gathered at the South Coastal Library for an Entrepreneur Symposium — an event designed by club President Drew Sunderlin to encourage young people interested in one day owning their own business by introducing them to some of Sussex County’s most successful entrepreneurs.

“This is an apolitical event,” Sunderlin explained. “The idea is I wanted to bring in the young members of our community and introduce them to three very successful entrepreneurs — I wanted to do something for the community where we show them what it took for these guys to get where they are.”

To do that, Sunderlin sought out area success stories, including restauranteur Steve Hagen of the Off the Hook Restaurant Group, Miken Builders President Mike Cummings and Barton’s Landscaping founder Phil Barton — all of whom eventually went on to turn their ideas into thriving businesses in Sussex County.

Weekend Wonderland in Bethany bringing holiday fun to the beach

Weekend Wonderland in Bethany will be held the first three Saturdays in December, on Dec. 5, 12 and 19, throughout downtown Bethany Beach, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local merchants will be open, with special promotions and activities, and a variety of events will take place throughout the days.

Bethany Beach to host month of holiday events

Visitors urged to give at ‘Tree of Warmth’

Visitors to Bethany Beach and residents alike will find during the holiday season that the Town has rolled out the red carpet and added a boardwalk Christmas tree this year to light the way for holiday revelers.

New Artful Bean owners blend coffee, creativity and community

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: New owners Rose O'Hanlan and Kim Warner are bringing even more of the creative arts to the Artful Bean.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: New owners Rose O'Hanlan and Kim Warner are bringing even more of the creative arts to the Artful Bean.It’s a coffeehouse, and it’s an art gallery. It’s a fine crafts gallery, and it’s a sandwich shop. It’s a stage for poetry readings, acoustic sets and art nights, a place to grab the morning paper, a place for locals, a place for tourists and a place for everyone.

But even after taking over the Artful Bean Coffee Shop in Bethany Beach this past April, new owners Rose O’Hanlan and Kim Warner still plan on what has long been an area staple of art and culture becoming even more. And they’ve only just begun unwrapping their plans.

“We want people to think about the Artful Bean not only as a coffee shop but as a place that they can go and be creative, and have a good time enjoying life for the moment that they’re in,” Warner said. “We just want to make every day an experience for the customers, the people that work here, and for ourselves.”

St. Martha’s offers Christmas crafts, cookies

Christmas crafts and cookies will bespecial added sale features at the next St. Martha’s Episcopal Church used book sale on Dec. 5.

The sale will be at the church in Bethany Beach, beginning at 9 a.m. and extended until 3 p.m.

Bethany Beach clarifies definition of ‘Tree of Warmth’

The Town of Bethany Beach found itself in a little unexpected controversy earlier this week after the Town posted a flyer advertising their popular Holiday Happenings event coming up Dec. 5.

On that flyer, they invited people to come to the boardwalk to see the lighting of the “Tree of Warmth.”

Doctor Fox joins Bethany Dental

Dr. Christine Fox recently brought her 20-plus years of experience as a general dentist to Bethany Dental Associates.

Fox previously owned her own practice in New Jersey before moving to Delaware to be closer to her aging parents. She said patient comfort is of the utmost importance for her, and her patients experience, gentle, caring treatment.

Neighbors in Need continuing to fight local hunger through holidays

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Neighbors in Need truck is parked in the Bethany Area Realty parking lot on Rt. 26 next to Wawa on the first Sunday of each month. The community is invited to drop off canned goods and nonperishable items that will taken to the Helping Hands Food Bank in Frankford.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Neighbors in Need truck is parked in the Bethany Area Realty parking lot on Rt. 26 next to Wawa on the first Sunday of each month. The community is invited to drop off canned goods and nonperishable items that will taken to the Helping Hands Food Bank in Frankford.According to data, 17.4 million households in the United States were food insecure last year, and 6.9 million experienced very low food security. And in Delaware, one in eight people struggled with hunger.

But despite what organizations like Feeding America were reporting, Bethany Beach resident Ann Raskauskas wasn’t aware that the issue was so prominent in her backyard until she saw it face to face.

That’s when she launched the Neighbors in Need charity, right in the parking lot of Bethany Area Realty on Route 26, where she works as a Realtor.

“I had a lady who came into my office last year,” Raskauskas recalled the early days of the organization. “She had four kids and none of them had eaten in five days.”

Cottage/Boathouse owners receive Lighthouse Award

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Tom Neville, left, and Brent Poffenberger address the crowd after winning the prestigious Lighthouse Award from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of CommerceCoastal Point • Laura Walter: Tom Neville, left, and Brent Poffenberger address the crowd after winning the prestigious Lighthouse Award from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of CommerceA tiny lighthouse is a big honor for Bethany Beach restaurateurs.

Tom Neville and Brent Poffenberger received the prestigious Lighthouse Award, similar to a lifetime achievement award, from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

Together, the men own restaurants that face each other on Route 1, near Bethany Beach: the Cottage Café and Bethany Boathouse. Their successful partnership began years ago with their studying hotel, motel and restaurant management together at Shepherd College in West Virginia and has continued through to this award, presented Oct. 22 at the Chamber’s annual installation and awards dinner.

The award “recognizes a longtime Chamber member that contributes outstanding leadership and devotion to both the Chamber and the community,” said incoming Chamber President Richard Mais.

The fallen tree: Man rows across Atlantic, gets stuck in Assawoman Canal

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Victor Mooney kneels on his boat, pointing towards his most recent challenge in rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, a fallen tree laying across the Assawoman Canal near Ocean View.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Victor Mooney kneels on his boat, pointing towards his most recent challenge in rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, a fallen tree laying across the Assawoman Canal near Ocean View.What does a Delaware tree have in common with sharks, pirates and near-starvation? It’s just another setback that hasn’t prevented Victor Mooney from sailing from Africa to New York.

Residents near Bethany Beach were surprised to see a man in a wetsuit knocking on doors in the Water Side development on Oct. 8, seeking to borrow a chainsaw. But a tree had blocked the entire Assawoman Canal, and Mooney’s one-man rowboat could not pass.

Mooney is on the last leg of the Goree Challenge, a 5,000-mile Transatlantic journey that began in early 2014. He rowed himself to the Caribbean from the African coast, mirroring the route of Christopher Columbus.

The magnitude of that could take a moment to sink in.

Without a motor or sails, Mooney crossed the Atlantic Ocean, using only his arms and oars for power. The mission began in 2003, with several failed attempts over the past decade (including twice from Goree Island, Senegal). The current trip launched from the Canary Islands on Feb. 19, 2014.

2015 Bethany Auxiliary Artisan’s Festival preview

More than 50 local artists and craftspersons will gather at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the annual Artisan’s Festival sponsored by the BBVFC Ladies Auxiliary.

Delmarva Power washing off salt-coated North Bethany lines again

Power interruptions may occur during cleaning process

Delmarva Power crews are resuming their efforts today to pressure-wash utility lines and equipment along Route 1 between the Indian River Inlet and an area just north of Bethany Beach to remove sea salt carried inland by winds from the weekend nor’easter.

TRAFFIC ALERT: DelDOT closes Route 1 between Bethany and Dewey

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) officials announced around 4:30 p.m. that, due to high water, Route 1 northbound and southbound was being closed between Bethany and Dewey Beach (including the Charles Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet).

Governor Issues limited state of emergency in Sussex County

Coastal flood warnings in effect along Atlantic Coast and Delaware Bays

With moderate to major coastal flooding expected at high tides today and tomorrow, along with high wind warnings along the coast, Gov. Jack Markell at noon on Oct. 2 issued a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, effective immediately. State offices will remain open, and no driving restrictions are being implemented; however, localized road closures may occur as conditions warrant it.

Gordon to serve another year as Bethany Beach mayor

Bethany Beach didn’t hold town council elections this year, as there were only three candidates who filed for the three available council seats, but just as with the council makeup for the coming year, the council executive roles will enter the new council year with a slight change.

Scot Sax, Suzie Brown bringing the blues to Dickens

Coastal Point • Submitted Scot Sax and Suzie Brown will be playing at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28.Coastal Point • Submitted Scot Sax and Suzie Brown will be playing at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28.He was writing Grammy-winning songs and dropping visceral guitar riffs in the power pop/rock band Queen Electric. She was a successful cardiologist with a degree from Harvard Medical and an undiscovered voice. They met at a mutual friend’s wedding, danced before they even spoke, got married and started touring together.

With two vastly differing musical backgrounds, influences and tastes, Scot Sax and Suzie Brown may have never envisioned that their styles would mesh. But when the two go on stage at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28, Sussex County will get to hear firsthand just how well those styles have blended together.

“She needed a little more rhythm and upbeat stuff in her set, and I think I needed a little more sensitivity in my set,” Sax explained. “That was a good thing for both of us. Our show now is better than what it was before. The albums are better than before.”

While Sax and Brown seemed to have found their sound playing their own blend of blues both at shows and on their new album, “Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either,” set to release on Sept. 25, it wasn’t always that way.

Bethany Blues/Mango’s crew expands dining options at Bethany’s new hotel

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Danny Somoza and Donna Serafina combined their efforts to bring 99 Sea Level to reality for a trio of partners, Dick Heidenberger, Steve Montgomery and Jim Weisgerber. The restaurant is located in the new Bethany Beach Ocean Suites.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Danny Somoza and Donna Serafina combined their efforts to bring 99 Sea Level to reality for a trio of partners, Dick Heidenberger, Steve Montgomery and Jim Weisgerber. The restaurant is located in the new Bethany Beach Ocean Suites.For Dick Heidenberger, taking the helm of Bethany Beach’s newest oceanfront restaurant was a move that made a lot of sense.

The endeavor began back in January as a conversation with Jack Burbage, owner of the new Bethany Beach Ocean Suites/Residence Inn. Burbage is also Heidenberger’s landlord at the Bethany Beach eateries Mango’s and Bethany Blues. Once he took a look at the hotel that was still under construction and the plans for the restaurant space, Heidenberger said, he decided to jump onboard.

The rest of the winter brought a flurry of preparations for Heidenberger and partners Steve Montgomery and Jim Weisgerber, Heidenberger said. The trio quickly began assembling a team of people to bring their vision to life. A crucial part of that process was hiring chef Danny Somoza and director of operations Donna Serafina.

“The two of them really put together our playbook here,” Heidenberger said.

That playbook includes a “very innovative menu” that features the freshest ingredients possible. To that end, 99 Sea Level works with a number of local food producers — including, but not limited to: Adkins Produce of Millsboro, Bennett Orchards of Frankford, Fishkiller Lobster Shack of Dagsboro and Sea Eagle Fish Company of Selbyville, in addition to farms and seafood companies from all over the Delmarva Peninsula.

From wild-caught salmon to free-range chicken, the menu features the freshest ingredients available, Heidenberger said. And from those ingredients, “everything that is served here is made fresh, in-house,” he said.

The crowning touch on the 99 Sea Level menu is the Seafood Tower, designed to be as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. The tower comes in three sizes and features blue-point Chincoteague oysters, steamed shrimp, Broadwater clams, steamed Prince Edward Island mussels and steamed Alaskan crab clusters.

The location of the restaurant, which seats 90 inside and 100 outside, is a huge part of what makes it unique — steps from the boardwalk and the dunes, it is one of a very few oceanfront restaurants in the Bethany Beach area. The wide porch, graced with elegant columns and fitted very simply with potted palms, was cool and pleasant even on a recent hot, humid afternoon, with ceiling fans adding to the breeze from the ocean.