Choosing the right menu took about 10 months. Choosing the right blueprint for their now 10th restaurant took nearly that long, too. But even with the layout designed entirely around the restaurant’s open kitchen — setting the stage for the chefs of SoDel Concepts more so than ever before — choosing the right chefs for the job took hardly any time at all for SoDel Concepts President Scott Kammerer and Vice President/Corporate Chef Doug Ruley.
The Clubhouse at Baywood, a full-service restaurant and banquet facility in Baywood Greens, recently hosted a Delaware Perfect Wedding Guide networking event for wedding professionals. Delaware Perfect Wedding Guide helps link couples to a wide variety of vendors statewide."We were thrilled that Delaware Perfect Wedding Guide chose Baywood for their spring luncheon," said Sarah Dickinson, director of events. "It gave us the chance to showcase our recently renovated venue and the professionalism of our event staff."
Last weekend, two long-awaited restaurants—Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar and The Vineyard Bar & Bistro—debuted in Rehoboth Beach. Located on Route 1 near the new Fresh Market and Bed Bath and Beyond, Bluecoast is the 10th restaurant under the SoDel Concepts umbrella and the second Bluecoast in the group. The first, situated in North Bethany Beach, is SoDel’s flagship restaurant and the business on which SoDel’s founder, Matt Haley, built a culinary empire along the coast.
The 10th restaurant to open in the empire that has become SoDel Concepts looks and feels like a celebration. So, fittingly enough, No. 10 is a bigger — much bigger — version of No. 1. SoDel Concepts opened the doors Thursday night to the brand-new Bluecoast Seafood and Raw Bar Thursday night in Rehoboth, 12 miles north on Coastal Highway from the original Bluecoast restaurant in Bethany Beach.
Last week I got a sneak peek at the soon-to-open Bluecoast Rehoboth in Gateway center - the 10th of SoDel Concepts’ owned and operated restaurants in Coastal Delaware. The simplicity of the all-white structure follows you through the double doors and into the 4,500-square-foot restaurant. Sparkling white kitchen tile is reinforced by whitewashed woods and white window frames that reach up to the soaring, open-plan ceiling. The kitchen is a chef’s dream, with roomy prep stations, sparkling new equipment and a walk-in refrigerator that’s bigger than many Manhattan apartments.
The new Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, scheduled to open in early June on Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach, has been built from the ground up, but the faces in the kitchen will be familiar to SoDel Concepts' longtime customers. The veteran chefs represent some of the finest in the SoDel Concepts hospitality group, which owns Bluecoast and nine other restaurants.
The decks at Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria locations in Fenwick Island and Rehoboth Beach will open on Cinco de Mayo, May 5. The second-floor deck at the Rehoboth Beach restaurant makes guests feel like they are dining in a festive treehouse. Papa Grande’s Coastal Taquerias in Fenwick Island and Rehoboth Beach are celebrating Cinco de Mayo May 5 with drink and food specials, including $3 fish or pork tacos.
SoDel Cares, the philanthropic arm of SoDel Concepts, donated $10,000 to The Freeman Stage at Bayside, an open-air performing arts venue near Fenwick Island that is celebrating its 10th season.The Freeman Stage is part of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, which also brings arts education to southern Delaware.
This year, Lupo Italian Kitchen in Rehoboth Beach, Bluecoast Seafood Grill in Bethany Beach and Catch 54 in Fenwick Island will feature a lavish brunch that aptly salutes these spring holidays. Easter is April 16; Mother's Day is May 14. Brunch on Easter and Mother's Day is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lupo and Catch 54, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bluecoast. To make reservations, call Lupo at 302-226-2240, Bluecoast at 302-539-7111 or Catch 54 at 302-436-8600.
SoDel Concepts' foundation, SoDel Cares, recently donated $4,000 to the Food Bank of Delaware. The hospitality company presented the check when students from the nonprofit's culinary program visited SoDel Concepts' offices in downtown Rehoboth Beach. The culinary program is part of the Food Bank's mission to find long-term solutions to end hunger and poverty. The training encourages under- and unemployed Delawareans to find jobs in the food service industry, which currently has a high demand for skilled labor.
Scott Kammerer, president of Rehoboth Beach-based SoDel Concepts, recently announced the recipients of the company’s Shining Star awards for the first quarter of 2017. The recognition is given to employees who are committed to cultivating a positive work environment and giving guests a memorable dining experience. The general manager at each restaurant selects the award recipient, who receives a $250 bonus and certificate.
Frequent diners at SoDel Concepts’ nine restaurants have circled March on their calendars. Each restaurant is featuring a dessert made with Girl Scout Cookies. The public is invited to sample all the creations and vote for their favorite Thursday, March 30, at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View. SoDel Concepts purchases 1,000 boxes of cookies to make the desserts. “Each restaurant gets a certain flavor,” said Doug Ruley, corporate chef for SoDel Concepts. “The chefs and their teams come up with a recipe that complements the cuisine.”
Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, recently announced the promotion of Raul Rodriguez to executive chef at Fish On, 17300 N. Village Main Blvd., Lewes. “Raul has so much talent,” Kammerer said. “He’s as considerate to his staff as he is creative in the kitchen. He’s such a nice person.”
"Our local Boys & Girls Club provides a wonderful service to families in our area, and they help kids realize their potential," said Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, which has nine area restaurants and is the founder of SoDel Cares. "We are proud supporters of this organization, which plays a crucial role for working families in our community."
Now is an ideal time to book a function. "For locals and off-season visitors, this is the perfect time of year to get together with friends, whether you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary, holding a rehearsal dinner or organizing a bridal or baby shower," says Scott Kammerer, SoDel Concepts president. "It's also wise to call now for spring, summer and fall events, since many of these spaces become booked very quickly.
SoDel Concepts' foundation, SoDel Cares, recently donated $2,500 to the Cape Henlopen Food Basket. Located on Oyster House Road in Rehoboth Beach, the nonprofit is an emergency food service that provides assistance to those living in the Cape Henlopen School District.
“Since it opened in Bethany Beach more than 10 years ago, Bluecoast has become a nationally recognized, award-winning restaurant,” Kammerer said. “Now our customers in the Lewes and Rehoboth Beach area don’t need to cross the Indian River Inlet Bridge to experience their favorite restaurant.”
The company will open its 10th restaurant, the second Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, in the Rehoboth Gateway Mall by June 2017. The shopping center on Route 1 is already home to The Fresh Market and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Anyone who knows Scott Kammerer would say 2016 has been his year. He was named Business Man of the Year by Coastal Style Magazine, won the Marvin S. Gilman Superstar Business Award, and most recently, the most coveted award in the industry — the Delaware Restaurant Association's Cornerstone Award.
The state now offers several culinary training programs for inmates, including one at the Sussex County Community Corrections Center in Georgetown. Inmates who successfully complete the programs are encouraged to pursue more culinary training at the Food Bank or other institutions.