The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce this week announced NV Homes/Ryan Homes as the presenting sponsor for the 27th Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour. To be held on Saturday, April 16, in downtown Bethany Beach, cyclists have the choice of a 30-, 50-, or 62.5-mile ride. A 100-mile century ride is new to the race this year, for the serious cyclist.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Bethany Beach Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee will host a special presentation by Dr. Gary Wray, “Fort Miles: Past, Present, Future.” The event will take place at Bethany Beach Town Hall, 214 Garfield Parkway, at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Dinker Cottage to be moved to Maryland Avenue property
The Bethany Beach Town Council this week voted unanimously to accept the donation of the turn-of-the-20th-century cottage built by one of its founders, with plans to move the historic structure to Town-owned land on the undeveloped Maryland Avenue Extended.
Public encouraged to attend Q&A
The 38th District Republican Club is putting politics aside on Monday, Jan. 25, and instead encouraging anyone and everyone to join them at the South Coastal Library for a police symposium at the South Coastal Library.
The Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi — a women’s social, cultural and service organization that gives back to those in need within the community — is hosting a January Jam dance to have fun night while raising funds to help those in need.
While Bethany Beach town officials are hoping to secure the donation of a historic cottage this week, there is opposition to the relocation of the cottage onto a town lot that some nearby residents claim is unsuitable for the structure, and for its use as a town museum.
Even on a frigid January morning, well-worn rockers on the porch of one of the last original cottages in Bethany Beach seem to beckon visitors to sit and relax.
The “Dinker Cottage,” as the house on Garfield Parkway with the white siding, green trim and wide porches is known, may be about to enter a new phase in its long, fruitful life. Current owner Christina Edgar, whose family has owned the cottage for about 90 years, hopes to soon complete arrangements for the cottage to be moved and transformed into a town museum.
Edgar, 72, recalls spending summers in the cottage where her Grandma Jenny’s narrow quarters contrasted with the beds lined up dorm-style in the larger room where all the children slept.
The smooth, battleship-gray painted floors — original to the circa-1902 cottage — must have felt blessedly cool to the generations of Edgar’s family whose sunburned feet trod the pine slats for five generations. The front windows, also original to the house, bear the wavy imperfectness of antique glass. Stained hardwood beadboard ceilings appear to have their original finish — a deep, rich, timeless brown.
While it’s been warm enough to toss around a beach ball on the beach this holiday season, there’s an event set for New Year’s Eve in Bethany Beach that could top that.
The first-ever New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop is set for midnight on Jan. 1. The 7-foot inflatable ball will be dropped from the top of a ladder truck on loan from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and will light up when it reaches the end of its drop.
The “Drop” will take place at the boardwalk end of Hollywood Street, between the north and south buildings of the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites hotel, which is sponsoring the event.
While tickets are required for the black-tie ball being held inside the hotel at 99 Sea Level, the hotel’s restaurant, the ball drop itself is open to the public. Starting at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, complimentary hot chocolate and coffee will be served. D.J. Magellan from radio station Ocean-98 will provide family-friendly entertainment, according to Sarah Witkowski, assistant marketing and events director for the company that owns the hotel.
Hair of the Dog 5K/10K to kick off festivities
It’s been a Bethany Beach tradition for going on 20 years now, and this New Years’ Day will be rung in the same way, with the Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos.
In addition to the annual plunge, in which participants brave the cold temperatures of the Atlantic to celebrate the new year, the days’ festivities — put on by the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation — will start out with the annual Hair of the Dog 5K and 10K oceanfront and boardwalk run.
The race and day’s events will include live music from D.J. Padraig and, as always, will include overall and age group awards and a post-race party at Mango’s on the Bethany Beach boardwalk, with beer and food donated by local restaurants.
To commemorate the race’s fifth year, participants will also receive a free insulated race tumbler provided by Burnzy’s Bar & Grill. As with prior events, racers are also being encouraged to dress up in festive costumes for the event and feel free to run the 5K with a four-legged friend.
Since Kristina Isom took over the Mind, Body & Sole Wellness Center in Bethany Beach, it’s seen its fair share of expansion. The facility has gone from what was simply a place for detoxification to expanding into saunas and massage therapy, and then again into facials, manicures and pedicure services.
But even after the newest addition this past October, taking over the adjacent studio for yoga, Zumba and Pilates classes, Isom still isn’t finished with what she envisions Mind, Body, & Sole becoming in the future, as she continues on her campaign for wellness in an area where she sees a growing demand for it.
“This is a growing area for wellness. There’s a need for it,” Isom said of the continued additions. “There’s a need for a place for people to come and feel comfortable taking care of themselves.” The yoga studio “was a great addition to what we already offer now.”
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.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.