The Inn at Duck Creek is the New Place for Fine Dining

A new, farm-to-fork restaurant brings upscale dining to downtown.

For Howard Johnson, opening Odd Fellows Café in Smyrna in 2012 was a steppingstone to a much bigger project several blocks away at the corner of North Main and East Commerce streets—the Inn at Duck Creek, an upscale, farm-to-fork restaurant and tavern expected to open in mid-August. But Johnson soon realized the restoration of the former Victorian and Federal-style buildings, owned by businessman Ed Ide, was “larger and more involved than I thought.” He brought on business partner Donna Ignasz, who had experience in finance and the hospitality industry. The duo is striving to create a restaurant that will become a destination for those outside the area.

- Advertisement -

They’ve hired a chef, Christopher Rauber, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, who has “a lot of passion,” Ignasz says. Expect local farms and businesses like Harvest Ridge Winery, Painted Stave Distilling and the new Blue Earl Brewing Company to be featured on a menu that will showcase American food with a sophisticated twist, Johnson says. Small, intimate dining rooms—seating 70 at cloth-covered tables on two levels—have plank floors, fireplaces and exposed brick to add to the charm. The 30-seat tavern will offer more casual fare like flatbreads. A proponent of Smyrna’s renaissance, Johnson says, “The focus is to bring food, customer service and atmosphere to downtown.”

Photograph By Luis Javy Diaz 

Donna Ignasz And Howard Johnson.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.