Sam Calagione, owner and founder of Dogfish Head, isn’t one to sit on his laurels, whether it’s dreaming up new brews, scratch-made spirits, a motel or a brewpub expansion. Now the James Beard-nominated brewmaster has cast his net on a seafood restaurant. Chesapeake & Maine (316 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2739, www.dogfish.com) is located in the old Finbar space, next to the original Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, which is also going through a major overhaul. The new seafood place was inspired by Calagione’s ties to local watermen and his summers spent in Dogfish Head, Maine.
“It’s unique,” Calagione says. “One hundred percent of the seafood we’ll be selling in the restaurant will be from the Chesapeake region and the Maine region.” He is especially excited about a new raw oyster bar he will be introducing. The menu will include creative twists on classic dishes such as Maine lobster Bolognese and a seafood charcuterie. “We’re bringing our off-centered approach to seafood that we did to pub food and brewing,” he says. Executive chef Kevin Downing and general manager Ryan Schwamberger will handle the day-to-day duties. The restaurant will also showcase Dogfish’s new spirits line through a draft-cocktail menu spotlighting its Analog Vodka, Compelling Gin and Whole Leaf Gin. The casual interior has a maritime motif with porthole windows and beautiful oyster-shell chandeliers.