When and Where to Try 3 New Starboard Restaurants, Bethany Blues
Steve “Monty” Montgomery may be the busiest person on Delaware beaches right now.
The owner of legendary Dewey Beach bar The Starboard is opening no less than three new restaurants in the coming weeks, and he’s tackling one aspect of the staff shortage in a new way.
Starboard Sauced, a pizzeria and sub-shop, will be located in Mama Celeste’s former building on the Coastal Highway in Dewey Beach. Starboard Claw, a seafood restaurant, will open across the street in the former location of Hammerheads. Down the street in Rehoboth Beach, Montgomery will open Downtown Blues in the original Nicola Pizza building on First Street.
The three new restaurants join others that Montgomery already co-owns: Bethany Blues in Bethany Beach and Lewes, The Starboard and Starboard Raw in Dewey Beach, and Nick’s Fish House in Baltimore.
Yet there is still a lack of affordable employee housing on Delaware beaches, according to Montgomery and many other business owners. In order to retain the staff who have been crucial to his success, he said, longtime Starboard and Bethany Blues employees are in the process of taking ownership at his three new restaurants.
“Not just to reward them for their decades of helping run our current businesses, but to help them earn a good living here at the beach and raise their own families here,” Montgomery said, “With the understudy silver may they stay with us and help us for another few decades.”
This weekend:Headed to the Delaware beaches this Memorial Day weekend? Here is your guide
Keith “Toastie” Kirk and Zach Warner, mainstays of The Starboard and Bethany Blues, are now co-owners of Starboard Claw.
“We’re very happy for them because they’ve been critical to our success,” Montgomery said.
The old Hammerheads building was demolished to make way for the brand new two-story Starboard Claw, with three deck areas and bars on both floors. After some spring construction delays, Claw will now open “right after Memorial Day weekend,” according to Montgomery. The restaurant will be open daily from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., with lunch hours added in the future.
The menu is rich in seafood and includes steamed blue crabs. There’s also fish, lobster, clams, shrimp, mussels, and land dishes, like “Delaware Roadside Chicken,” a homage to Dewey’s former restaurant Ed’s Chicken.
More:The surf fishing reservation system navigates to the first weekend. Can he handle Memorial Day?
Starboard Sauced has great shoes to fill the mind of anyone who’s had a slice or two of Mama Celeste after a night of bar-hopping in Dewey Beach. He looks likely to rise to the challenge, especially with Mama herself, Celeste Gutt, remaining, according to Montgomery.
Starboard’s culinary director, Joe Lopez, will assume the role of owner of the New York-style pizzeria and sub-boutique and lead day-to-day operations. He and his employees will serve pizzas “laden with piles of freshly sliced meats” until 2 a.m.
Sauced will open this week, Montgomery said, when renovations are complete.
More:The sands of Rehoboth Beach are ready for Memorial Day beachgoers. See the beach replenished
Downtown Blues is taking over another iconic pizzeria, the former Nicola Pizza on First Street in Rehoboth Beach. This is Bethany Blues’ third restaurant, “with a new name so people don’t get confused about where they’re ordering takeout…yeah, it happens all the time!” said Montgomery.
Jessica Nathan has worked at Bethany Blues in Lewes since it opened, according to Montgomery.
“We knew we wanted to bring it into our ownership group whenever we found the next perfect location,” he said. “She had always wanted to have a Blues in downtown Rehoboth. Then a light bulb went on in our heads.
The 125-seat Downtown Blues will feature a back bar, stocked with Bethany Blues’ signature bourbon collection, and a front take-out window. It will be open all year round.
Downtown Blues is still undergoing renovations, and Montgomery said he hopes to open by the second week of June.
Shannon Marvel McNaught reports from Sussex County and beyond. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @MarvelMcNaught