Photo by Natalee DeHart
A 2020 arson fire caused this waterfront restaurant to rebuild from the ground up in order to serve its upscale coastal fare in Delaware.
The long-awaited Lighthouse restaurant’s reopening is here.
The Dewey Beach restaurant has gone through a lot in the past year leading up to its reopening on July 29. Following the start of the Lighthouse Cove resort redevelopment project in 2013, the restaurant’s reincarnation came to a halt in the spring of 2020 when the mid-completion restaurant burned to the ground due to an arson fire.
In June 2021, the Office of the State Fire Marshal announced criminal charges against Richard B. Lodeski, 44, of Wilmington, the person responsible for the fire that destroyed the Lighthouse restaurant in April, Delaware Business Times reported.
Now the eatery commences a new chapter.
“It was very difficult to handle but fortunately enough we have a great staff here and we have great people on our team that understood that it was out of anyone’s control,” says Drew DiFonzo, managing director.
Located at 124 Dickinson St. in Dewey Beach, the Lighthouse restaurant is adjacent to the Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, The Residences at Lighthouse Cove, Lighthouse Cove Event Center and Dewey Beach’s ADA compliant public recreational Baywalk, a first for the beach town.
The restaurant boasts coastal-inspired décor featuring an open-air concept complete with new kitchen facilities, expanded seating, wrap-around bayside deck, an exterior deck bar overlooking the Rehoboth Bay and beach volleyball court, according to a news release from the restaurant.
The menu focuses on local coastal-inspired dishes, a raw bar and handcrafted cocktails.
“A lot of our menu was designed with that coastal feel, dealing with local, fresh seafood and then doing some classic recipes that [were popular] when it was the Lighthouse [Restaurant and Raw Bar] and it was Que Pasa [Mexican Restaurant]. We weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re just trying to improve it,” explains Executive Chef Rob Sosnovich.
His top recommendations include the Mexican street scallops (scallops, grilled corn salsa, chipotle aioli, queso fresco, baby cilantro and grilled lime vinaigrette) and the street tacos (a choice of protein dressed with yuzu cabbage, house pico de gallo, cheddar cheese and chipotle aioli). Many of the dishes on the menu were successes from the restaurant’s Sunset Deck, a pop-up dining experience that took place last summer on the event center’s deck.
Delaware-based Tko Hospitality Management leads the operation and management of Lighthouse restaurant. DiFonzo and Sosnovich both have long careers in restaurant and hospitality. DiFonzo began working in hotels from a young age, beginning in Newark and moving into management roles at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Chef Sosnovich also began honing his craft at a young age and has experience running kitchens in Ocean Pines and Ocean City, Maryland.
For the reopening event, patrons can enjoy specials beginning at 11 a.m., including $5 draft beers and Fireball, $6 house wines, $7 crushes, Sunset Rocks Margaritas and Bayside Pirates. Live entertainment kicks off at night with Bilenki Duo from 5-7 p.m. and Cherry Crush Trio from 7-10 p.m.
124 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach