New Year, New Digs

Restaurants reshuffle, reopen and relocate in 2010 before we’ve even had a chance to recycle the champagne bottles.

Welcome to Home Skillet, where old acquaintances have already been forgotten. All seems quiet on the dining event front this week, but some interesting dining news has floated into my email box.

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• Joe Baker, a former partner of the superb Fins Fish House in Rehoboth Beach is busy readying his new venture—Henlopen City Oyster House.

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Aiming to open sometime in mid-April on Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth (in the spot formerly occupied by Celsius), Henlopen City, it appears, will follow slightly in Fins’ footsteps, at least in concept.

Expect lots of fresh, fresh seafood and a great selection of oysters from both coasts wrapped in sort of a rustic, family-friendly environment. This oyster house could see some exposed brick walls and reclaimed wood.

Baker and business partner Chris Bisaha (who held an interest in Fins) are completely renovating the former Celsius and adding a bar (Celsius was a dining room-only place) and a separate raw bar where people can sit and mull over the day’s oysters and more. Baker says he hopes to have a nice eclectic wine list, plus a rotating list of microbrews.

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There are plenty of great restaurants in Rehoboth that might also require you to take out a second mortgage to afford the tab. Henlopen City won’t be that kind of place. Baker hopes to keep price points down and create a spot where families can dine and become repeat customers.


• Newarkites (Newarkians?) can finally rejoice the opening of a bona fide cheesesteak giant (and surefire hangover cure, kids!) in their midst. Claymont Steak Shop, the longtime favorite of many in the state, including one Mister Joe Biden, just opened its second location, at 57 Elkton Road in Newark, 453-9505. They do deliver.

While Main Street has always been the cultural and commercial hub of downtown Newark, efforts are being made to revamp Elkton Road with renovations and great new retail spots. A killer cheesesteak spot certainly will help that cause.


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