Tips to find space for your large dinner party at the beach
After 30 years of business in Bethany, DiFebo's opens on Main Street in Berlin. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
The 71st Salisbury Jaycees Christmas Parade took place Sunday, Dec. 3. Ralph Musthaler video
The town of Ocean City held its annual Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 2.
Ground broke on Maui Jack’s Waterpark on Chincoteague Island in November 2017. The park is slated to be completed by May 2018. Video courtesy The Cyphers Agency
AMP Studio in downtown Salisbury offers a place to play and learn. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Now celebrating its 25th year, Ocean City's Winterfest of Lights, which will extend through December 31, officially kicked off the resort town's holiday season. Published by Reed Shelton
Ali Baba offers both Mediterranean and American food. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
The new West Main Street location will offer coffee and ice cream in addition to pie. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
After 22 years the original Dogfish Head brew pub is being torn down to make way for a new courtyard that will have an outdoor dining section and the back half will house the brewery and distillery for collaborations and brewpub exclusives. Produced by Megan Raymond
Owned by Bryan Whipple, the shop offers skateboards, apparel and accessories to local skaters. Photos by Ralph Musthaler, Produced by Meg Ryan
Ann Foultz wrote a memoir about her experience as a Girl Scout. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Dogfish Head and RAR Brewing founders explain why craft breweries work together. Produced by Ryan Marshall and Megan Raymond
The 2nd Annual Northampton County Fair, held in Machipongo, Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, featured antique tractors, tractor driving contests, live music, a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating for the kids, and much more. Carol Vaughn video
The new restaurant in Sea Gull Square offers "kabob" style Chinese food as well as spicier options. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Hundreds of seafood lovers flocked to the 45th Annual Oyster Festivel on Chincoteague, Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Carol Vaughn video
The News Journal entertainment writer Ryan Cormier hosts a Facebook Live chat with Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione at his bar and restaurant in Rehoboth Beach on Oct. 3, 2017.
Hundreds of classic cars and trucks descended on Ocean City on the weekend of Oct. 6, 2017. Todd Dudek video
100 varieties of jerky available, including exotic meats such as kangaroo and elk in addition to gourmet snacks, popcorn, nuts, spices, sauces and rubs available.
Delmarva Eastern Surfing Association held the Maryland State Surfing Championships on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 on the beach at 36th street in Ocean City, Md. Produced by Megan Raymond
A new sight will be welcoming visitors to Ocean City after they cross the Route 90 bridge into town — a Denny's restaurant. Wochit
Dollar stores are popping up on street corners across Delmarva, swimming against the retail sector's falling tide. Video by Jeremy Cox
The 2017 Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty will be hosted by Wicomico Youth and Civic Center and nearby venues in both Maryland and Delaware on Sept. 22-30. Wochit
As Wicomico County prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary, The Daily Times and DelmarvaNow.com will offer nine days of coverage, much of it recalling where we were 150 years ago and recounting the journey through time that brought us to where we are today. Wochit
An inside look at this year's event. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Larry Parsons grew up in the restaurant business and eventually decided to his own. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Big Oyster Brewery's expansion in Lewes will increase production by 2,500 barrels Produced by Megan Raymond
Pico Taqueria offers freshly made tortillas, with a variety of different toppings and is open during Chincoteague's summer season. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Joe KroArt, Ocean Gallery, was honored by Maryland's Comptroller Peter Franchot Produced by Megan Raymond
The William E. Morgan Conservation Center will offer reptiles, amphibians and conservation programs. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
OC Painting Experience brought to you by T.C. Studios is a place for locals and visitors to learn about painting. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
In Ocean City, Italian bistro Ripieno's specializes in big portions, including its 28-inch large pizza. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding held its semi-finals on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Dewey Beach, Del. Produced by Megan Raymond
Hamboards allow riders to surf while on land. Here's what Don Sandusky, owner and general manager of the co., had to say about the newest model. Produced by Gray Hughes
Chef Cameron arguably Delaware's best chef, is quite literally a walking cookbook. His body and his brain are filled with the thousands of books he's read and the hundreds of places he's traveled to learn global cuisine. Produced by Megan Raymond
OC BBQ, which replaced OC Steamers, opened in May and provided a southern barbecue restaurant at the changing 45th Street Village. Wochit
An inside look at this year's event. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Vineyard Wine Bar and Bistro is providing an upscale food and wine experience at the beach. Wochit
The new space will include an expanded dining area, fire pits, cornhole and a viewing area where customers can observe the brewing process. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Pony Penning begins with southern and northern roundups on Assateague, the swim to Chincoteague on July 26 followed by the auction on July 27 and capped with the swim back. Wochit/Produced by Kamlesh Desai
Known for their crab cakes, Drum Point Market has gained attention from travelers from all over the country. Produced by Ralph Musthaler and Ben Penserga
A band of wild ponies gallops on Assateague Island. Video courtesy of DSC photography. Darcy Cole, DSC photography
Barn 34 in Ocean City puts the family in family restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Highlights from the 2017 Berlin Bathtub Races. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
What's percolating in the world of coffee and coffee shops? Pemberton Coffeehouse is set to open in Salisbury — again. Deborah Gates
Chef Chris Parks has elevated the cuisine at Lupo in Rehoboth over the last few years. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
The 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City ended with a new winner being crowned!
Delmarvanow.com asks beach visitors about their favorite activities on the Fourth of July. Produced by Megan Raymond
The restaurant offers seafood, speciality pizzas and more to customers. Produced by Meg Ryan
Chris Clare went from a small town ballplayer to a minor-league All-Star. Wochit
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has been touring breweries in Maryland to learn about their economic impact on their respective communities. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Alan Goldsborough of Crisfield and daughter, Heather, have opened Shipwrecked Seafood at Route 50 and Main Street in Berlin. Live, steamed and softshells to go! Deborah Gates
Ropewalk Chincoteague offers waterfront dining, a tiki bar and more. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Near perfect weather made for an exciting air show. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Gilligan's, on the canal waterfront in Lewes, reopened after an off-season remodel. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Indigo in Rehoboth, a new restaurant, is one of the Delaware beach area's only Indian restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Roadie Joe's owner talks about how his business has grown along with Salisbury. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
High Stakes Bar & Grill in Fenwick Island recently renovated. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Rare & Rye Owner Sal Fasano describes the newest hotel restaurant in OC Produced by Megan Raymond
SoDel's Scott Kammerer at the newest Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar Produced by Megan Raymond
Salisbury will play host to a major festival and tourism draw next year that is expected to bring in tens of millions of dollars to the city. Video by Keith Demko
Peter and Linda Roskovich's family beach home will be featured on HGTV's "Beachfront Bargin Hunt: Renovation" Produced by Megan Raymond
Take a virtual walk along the Ocean City Boardwalk while checking out some of the sounds and sights. Produced by Gray Hughes
Burley Oak Brewing Company is aiming for a July opening for a new, coffee-inspired cafe in downtown Berlin. Wochit
Local fans of HGTV’s television show, “House Hunters,” will soon see their hometown in an upcoming episode. Wochit
Downtown Salisbury Festival returns June 2-4 with with carnival rides, food vendors, craft beer, a full entertainment lineup and local vendors. Wochit
- WATCH: DiFebo's Restaurant opens in Berlin
- Watch: Salisbury holds Christmas Parade
- Watch: Ocean City holds its Christmas Parade
- WATCH: A time lapse video of Chincoteague waterpark groundbreaking
- WATCH: Local studio provides area youth a place to perform
- WATCH: Ocean City's 25th Annual Winterfest of Lights
- WATCH: New Mediterranean restaurant opens in Salisbury
- WATCH: The Ugly Pie has a new home
- WATCH: Original Dogfish Head brew pub gets demolished
- WATCH: Downtown Salisbury welcomes Lurking Class Skate Shop
- WATCH: Longtime Girl Scout reflects on her 'unusual' life
- Watch: Why Dogfish Head and RAR Brewing collaborate on beers
- WATCH: Scenes from the 2nd Annual Northampton Agricultural County Fair
- WATCH: Chuar brings authentic Chinese food to Salisbury
- WATCH: 45th Annual Chincoteague Oyster Festival
- Thirst State Craft Crawl - Dogfish Head
- WATCH: OC Endless Summer Cruisin' 2017
- WATCH: Beef jerky Outlet store opening in Rehoboth
- Delmarva Eastern Surf Association Maryland State Championships
- WATCH: New Denny's coming to former home of JR's Ribs in Ocean City.
- WATCH: Why dollar stores are sweeping across Delmarva
- WATCH: National golden retriever show coming to Delmarva
- WATCH: Recalling Wicomico County's 150th Anniversary
- WATCH: Scenes from 58th Annual Skipjack Race
- WATCH: Woody's Beach BBQ owner keeps it simple
- WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
- WATCH: Pico Taqueria brings Mexican American fare to Chincoteague
- WATCH: Ocean Gallery honored by Maryland Comptroller
- WATCH: Salisbury Zoo cuts ribbon for new conservation center
- WATCH: Local art studio offers visitors a chance to relax and paint
- WATCH: Ripieno's in Ocean City does big portions
- WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
- WATCH: Surf on land with Hamboards
- WATCH: Chef's Corner- Chef Hari Cameron a(muse.)
- WATCH: OC BBQ offers Southern eats in a former seafood restaurant
- WATCH: Scenes from the 41st annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake
- WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Evolution plans outdoor expansion with green space
- Pony Penning 2017: What to expect
- WATCH: Smith Island store draws people from afar
- Chincoteague ponies kick up their heels
- WATCH: Barn 34 in Ocean City a family affair
- WATCH: Scenes from the 28th Bathub Races
- WATCH: Pemberton Coffeehouse set to reopen
- WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
- WATCH: 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City
- WATCH: What is your favorite thing to do on the Fourth?
- WATCH: Buxy's owner expands business footprint with newly opened Dry Dock 28
- WATCH: Shorebirds All-Star sets the bar high
- WATCH: Comptroller Franchot rallying craft beer industry
- WATCH: Shipwrecked in Berlin
- WATCH: Ropewalk Chincoteague brings waterfront dining to both locals and visitors
- WATCH: Air Show draws a big crowd to Ocean City
- WATCH: Gilligan's in Lewes opens after remodel
- WATCH: Indigo in Rehoboth serves rare Indian cuisine
- WATCH: Roadie Joe's serves up sophisticated pub fare
- WATCH: High Stakes renovates in Fenwick
- WATCH: Rare & Rye isn't the average hotel restaurant
- WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Salisbury lands National Folk Festival starting in 2018
- WATCH: HGTV Beachfront Bargin Hunt comes to Ocean City
- WATCH: Sights and sounds of the Ocean City Boardwawlk
- WATCH: Burley Oak to open cafe in Berlin
- WATCH: Couple brings 'House Hunters' to Salisbury
- Downtown Salisbury Festival
Lines for restaurants in the resort area are everywhere.
Stories of couples being given up to five hour wait times for a table are legendary, so how could a larger group ever expect to be fed?
A little planning and knowing a few local secrets can get help get that party of eight to 10 at the table sooner than later.
First Trick - knowing where to go
While there are plenty of wonderful food options from Lewes to Fenwick, a lot of them are small boutique restaurants. Some of them just can’t accommodate a large group. If this is a new restaurant for the group, it’s worth a call ahead to be sure there is space.
Many restaurants, though, were actually built with a party in mind.
Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, just north of Rehoboth Beach, Big Fish Grill, just west of Rehoboth and Nalu in Dewey Beach, all on Route 1 are examples of restaurants that embraced the crowd.
“We included a 10-top specifically because of the dilemma of seating large parties,” said Nelia Dolan, marketing director for SoDel Concepts the company that created the recently opened Bluecoast Grill.
The table was made specifically so it couldn’t be broken down and had to stay available for large parties only.
“In the summer time when people vacation with multiple families or lots of friends, it is in high demand," Dolan said. "The smallest party that is sat at that table is seven.”
Big Fish added an extra room in November 2016 so bigger parties could be seated easily. The Cove, as the addition is named, is the only part of the restaurant that will take reservations for parties of 10 or larger.
“A lot of people are really enjoying it,” said Amy Lambden, Big Fish manager.
Nalu, the resorts largest tiki bar, is all about larger groups, said assistant manager, Jessica Hassett. The surf themed restaurant has three tables that seat eight, one that seats nine and one that seats 13.
“I've done big groups at Nalu a lot of times,” said Cathie Sheetz of Lewes, who said she goes there with her girlfriends for girls night. “You will have elbow room.”
Other restaurants specifically set up for larger groups include Tokyo Steakhouse of Lewes, where all the tables around the grills seat 10, and Cultured Pearl in Rehoboth which has side rooms with larger tables as well as a few outside on their rooftop terrace.
Restaurants such as Grotto Pizza and Nicola Pizza, with locations throughout the resort, are also good bets to get in fairly easily. They have a quick turn around of service and several larger tables to get people seated.
Second Trick - Timing
Dinner hour at the beach is usually around 7 p.m. so if you are just showing up with a group, the earlier, the better, said Hassett.
“We usually go on a wait list around 7:30," she said.
Or you can go late. After 8:30 p.m., the crowds start to thin out so it is easier to show up, said Gretchen Hanson, owner and chef at the former Hobo’s restaurant in Rehoboth.
Or you have to time it just right. At the small tapas restaurant, 14 Global, in Bethany Beach, they only accept a limited number of reservations for between 5-6 p.m. and don’t take reservations otherwise. One of the tricks for this restaurant is to show up around 7:30 p.m., said Chef Kevin Daughaday.
The people who were there for the last reserved seats are just getting finished around then and tables tend to open up, he explained.
“This is kind of a perfect place for large parties,” said Daughaday, who recommended everyone in the group order something different from the tapas menu. “It’s all meant to be shared.”
Third Trick - Choose days wisely
“Well Saturdays are always the busiest no matter where you are. Your best bet is still mid week, Tuesday or Wednesday,” said Dolan, although she and the managers, chefs, and employees of every restaurant interviewed for this story admitted that every night is busy in the summer.
Fourth Trick - Get on a wait list early
A lot of restaurants at the beach will place parties on the wait list and give you an estimate of how long the wait will be. Send a couple of people ahead of time to sign on to the wait list and the rest of the group can show up at a more leisurely pace.
Cottage Cafe in Bethany Beach, however, has taken the wait list to a whole new level. Using the Yelp app for smart phones people can put their names on the waitlist from their homes and get an instant estimate on how long the wait will be and how close to the top of the list they are.
“It’s a really good tool,” said Tom Neville, owner, adding that the restaurant limits the number of people at one table to 14. More than that and he will try to sit you close together at separate tables.
Most restaurants said 12 to 14 was the absolute limit to how large a group could be and expect to be seated.
Fifth Trick - Come with a good attitude
The average wait at resort restaurants is 45-minutes at peak times and can balloon up to an hour or more on the busiest days.
Some of the restaurants have special chairs and even games to play to pass the time.
“In July and August, there’s going to be a wait,” said Hassett. “But we have great food here.”
She joked that if there wasn’t a line, then that might be something for the patron to worry about.