Amy Felker, who opened Lewes Bake Shoppe in 1990, remembers when customers just asked for “regular” or “decaf” coffee. They never considered ordering a latte, espresso or even a type of bean. The next year, she put a roastery in the shop.
Felker was on the cutting-edge. Today, coffee culture has taken root along the coast. For proof, drive around the circle in Rehoboth. The old 7/11—once the go-to for a regular cup of Joe—is becoming Rise Up Coffee Roasters.
The hip Rise Up was founded by Tim Cureton, who was exposed to coffee-growing operations while in the Peace Corps. He started the business in 2005 with a drive-through coffee trailer in St. Michaels, Maryland. By 2012, Rise Up was roasting its own coffee.
The business crept closer to the Delaware coast with locations in Salisbury and Ocean City. The Rehoboth site, scheduled to open in early May, represents Rise Up’s first foray across state lines. In a twist to the original concept, Rise Up will have an expanded “Mad Eggs” menu with dinner options and a bar.
Rise Up isn’t the only cool coffee shop in town. Here are some others that push the envelope.
The java is supplied by Homestead Coffee Roasters, who roasts coffee in a 19th-century Pennsylvania barn just steps from the Delaware River.
786 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach • 829-1551
Owner and Frenchman Thierry Langer is proud that his restaurants only serve La Colombe. While the pancake-like Kaiserschmarrn pastry—the Austrian word for “imperial mess”—is the hook, breakfast sandwiches are bestselling items. There are locations in Rehoboth and Lewes, but the Lewes site has a drive-through.
70 Rehoboth Ave., A2, Rehoboth • 212-5360
1548 Savannah Rd., Lewes • 313-424
Located near the Rehoboth Boardwalk, Mug & Spoon gets its coffee from Wilmington-based Brandywine Coffee Roasters and ice cream from Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin. The shop has a machine similar to an inkjet printer that copies high-resolution photos, designs and messages atop the foam on lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso-based drinks. The shop also sells nitro coffee—cold brew poured into a keg and infused with nitrogen gas.
18 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth • 858-6280
Nestled inside Lewes Bake Shoppe, Notting Hill sells more than 125 kinds of coffee. You can sit beside the roaster, which has a place of honor in the center of the shop.
124 Second St., Lewes • 645-0733
17382 Coastal Hwy., Lewes • 644-1822
18675 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach • 644-4822
The shop at the entrance to Rehoboth Beach brews up to 10 kinds of coffee each day, and you can buy more than 20 types of beans by the bag. All the coffee is specially made for the shop by a roastery.
37140 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach • 260-9734