This week’s column showcases business happenings across the Lower Shore and Sussex County — from longtime favorites closing in Ocean City, to new restaurant comings in Rehoboth and Lewes. And, a new gym just opened in Delmar that might still keep some New Year’s Resolutions on track.
Check out what’s coming and going on Delmarva.
Staple BJ’s on the Water to close permanently
BJ’s on the Water, a longtime favorite restaurant in Ocean City, has announced it will close permanently at the end of the month.
Through a post on Facebook, BJ’s on the Water announced its longtime owners had decided to close the restaurant and sell the property.
“With emotions flowing, and hearts extremely heavy, we have decided to hang our hats,” according to the post. “It is time to end an area. We are officially selling.”
BJs on the Water first opened in 1979 by Billy and Maddy Carder, as previously reported by Delmarva Now. For decades, the restaurant has been a regular dining spot for locals in the winter and a tourism magnet for visitors in the summer.
“Most of you know Billy’s health has been … well, not the greatest,” according to the post. “Through successful cancer treatments and his heart needing a little help operating and Maddy joining the club with a couple operations of her own, plus trying to run a restaurant in COVID-19 times, it is time to take a step back so they can finally relax.”
Embers to close, but owners plan to redevelop, reopen property by 2022
2305 Philadelphia Ave
The Taustin Group, owners of Embers, announced the restaurant will close — but the family has plans to redevelop its property, as previously reported by Delmarva Now.
The group cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason Embers will close, according to the press release. Changes to Embers are part of a larger effort by the Taustin Group to reexamine its businesses after “a challenging 2020.”
Owners plan to reopen BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar in 2021, according to the press release. The family will also begin construction on Pier 23, a new “waterfront container food port,” where Mad Fish Bar and Grille used to stand.
For 2022, the Taustin family plans to redevelop the Embers site into a “versatile space” that will include the family’s other restaurant, BLU Crabhouse, along with its miniature golf course.
“We are turning the page once again after a long and successful chapter in our history at the beach,” said CEO Cole Taustin in a press release. “The Embers will transform during this period, and all of us are very excited for you to see what is next.”
Plan approved for new Nicola Pizza
17725 Coastal Highway
The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a preliminary plan for a new Nicola Pizza location headed to Lewes.
The restaurant was a Rehoboth Beach institution for almost 50 years before announcing its closure at both locations last summer.
Nicholas Caggiano Sr., the son of Italian immigrants, and his wife, Joan, opened Nicola Pizza in 1971. It became known for the Nic-o-Boli, a cross between a calzone and a stromboli with ground beef and pizza sauce inside, as previously reported.
In 2010, Nicola Pizza opened a second larger location with a sports bar. The menu featured the same tried and true Nic-o-bolis and pizza, which Delaware Online/The News Journal readers voted the second best in the First State last year.
Both locations — the original on North First Street and the two-story bar and restaurant on Rehoboth Avenue — were slated to stay open until the grand opening of the new restaurant in 2021.
Now, the Nic-o-Boli will likely slip in along Route 1 in a new Sussex County location. Once approvals clear, a final site plan should be reviewed and approved.
Redner’s Fresh Market still on its way
Corner of Route 9 and Nassau Commons Boulevard
The Redner’s Fresh Market is still planned for Lewes.
Though construction was delayed by pandemic, the store is still slated to open within 2021, confirmed Eric White, director of marketing, Jan. 28. It will open in Fernmoor’s Vineyards Community, near the Five Points intersection.
Now though, the company eyes late summer or early fall for its opening.
The market will feature locally grown produce, farm-fresh meat and dairy, handcrafted baked products and an assortment of “Grab n’ Go” chef inspired prepared meals by Executive Chef Tim Twiford, as reported by Delmarva Now in February 2020.
The Vineyards location is the third Redner’s Fresh Market store, a venture the company launched in 2017 to offer customers a more upscale, enhanced shopping environment.
Redner’s Markets, Inc., currently operates 44 grocery stores and 21 Quick Shoppes throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.
“The entire Redner’s family is excited and eager to become a productive member of the Lewes-area community,” said Ryan Redner, president and CEO of Redner’s Markets, last year. “We look forward to getting to know everyone and fulfilling our commitment to providing excellent food and stellar service to our valued customers.”
Community 24-hour gym opens in Delmar
38613 Benro Drive, Suites 1 & 2
Delmar Fitness officially opened its doors on New Year’s Day.
The locally owned business is set to offer 24-hour access to its members, seven days a week, according to a press release — ready to help 2021 resolutions stay their course.
Owner Vishal Patel says he learned Anytime Fitness was closing and thought it would be a great opportunity, according to the release.
“Every community needs a gym where everyone can feel comfortable working out at their pace,” he said in a statement. “The location of the gym, ample parking and the ability for it to be open 24/7 made it ideal.”
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Delmar Fitness offers membership at $29.95 per-month for all its members. The membership includes access to the gym at all hours via a key fob. Members may bring guests at a rate of $5 per day. The gym has tanning and private showers included in its membership.
Being a partner of the Global Play Network, a local entertainment and fitness center app, Delmar Fitness members who choose to pay for membership via the app gain access to all the Global Play partners, according to the release.
These partner locations include Altitude Trampoline Park in Delmar, Bryan’s Bowling in Laurel and The Escape Room in Salisbury, among others, according to the new gym.
Square One expects spring 2021 opening
10 N. First Street
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one bar and grill delayed its opening in Rehoboth Beach.
Square One Grill announced it aims to open in February 2021, nearly a year later than expected.
The martini bar and lounge plans to bring a “casual, relaxed innovative restaurant and bar” to the location, according to its Facebook.
Coming from the same minds of Diego’s Bar Nightclub, also located in the Delaware Beach town, the new location will soon add to the fabric of downtown Rehoboth.
Toys are coming back to Twilley Centre
317 Civic Ave
Rinnier Development Company announced a deal this month that will bring toy store, “They’re Action Figures,” to the Twilley Centre in Salisbury.
“Many of the city’s longtime, residents still associate the Twilley Centre with Toys R Us, which occupied the center for nearly 20 years, dating back to the early 1980s,” the company said in a press release. “They’re Action Figures will become the first toy store to occupy the center since that time frame, but the nostalgia doesn’t stop there.”
They’re Action Figures be leasing at the same center, and the store will also be selling some of the same merchandise — specializing in the sale of vintage toys and comics.
Collectors will have the opportunity to purchase those items at a grand opening Friday, Feb. 5, at 12 p.m.
New location secured for Kitchen Concepts Plus
805 Snow Hill Rd
SVN Miller Commercial Real Estate secured a new location for Kitchen Concepts Plus on Snow Hill Road, while selling its two former properties within months.
Kitchen Concepts Plus hopes to streamline its business by utilizing the 14,000-square-foot office and warehouse building, formerly Go Glass.
Kitchen Concepts Plus is one of the leading full-service kitchen and bath dealers on the Delmarva Peninsula, according the company’s announcement.
Founded in 1991, it first manufactured display furniture for top U.S. retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s and Polo. From those roots, it evolved to deliver the same quality in their own products and remodel services for homeowners and developers across the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, according to SVN Miller.
As the company’s Facebook puts it, “Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and it is also at the heart of our business.”
This article originally appeared on Salisbury Daily Times: Ocean City favorites close, new restaurants coming to Rehoboth, Lewes: What’s going there