Bethany Blues to Take Over Nicola Pizza in Rehoboth Beach

The lauded barbecue chain will open its third location – a spin-off called Downtown Blues – come spring 2023
Bethany Blues to Take Over Nicola Pizza in Rehoboth Beach
Photo: Official | Nicola Pizza
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The incoming Downtown Blues will be located at 8 N. 1st St, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971, according to co-owner Steve “Monty” Montgomery. The establishment is estimated to open around Easter 2023

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In 2004, Montgomery, along with his business partners Kevin Roberts, Dick Heidenberger, and Jim Weisgerber, opened Bethany Blues BBQ in Bethany Beach. Five years later, they spawned a second location in Lewes. The restaurants serve up deliciously different BBQ dishes like smoked brisket kielbasa and cajun smoked turkey breast topped with a cranberry-pineapple chutney.

As the third location gears up to take over the longstanding pizza establishment, What Now Philly took the time to talk to Montgomery about what’s to come and the possibility of pushback from the community:

WNP: Why did the Bethany Blues team choose this particular location?

Montgomery: While we were not originally looking to open a new location for Bethany Blues, we were approached by the landlords of these current Nicola Pizza spaces. They were very nice to work with and after sleeping on it, we felt downtown Rehoboth needed a BBQ-style restaurant featuring both dine-in and carry-out services. We have a similar situation in downtown Bethany, and that restaurant is very successful, so we can only hope the same for downtown Rehoboth.

WNP: What is something unique to Bethany Blues that BBQ-loving Rehoboth customers can expect?

Montgomery: Bethany Blues does BBQ the way we learned to do it while traveling through Texas, Tennessee, and upstate New York. We pride ourselves on doing things right regarding how we smoke, prepare, and present our culinary items.

WNP: Will there be any changes made to the Rehoboth menu?

Montgomery: We will feature many similar things we currently have on our Lewes and Bethany menus. However, we also plan to do some fun new things like BBQ tacos in this Rehoboth location. We’re hoping for strong lunch and dinner business, and we want to adapt to the demand of what people want in the area – whether coming off the beach or taking BBQ home to feed their family.

WNP: Has the team received any negative feedback in terms of taking over a Rehoboth mainstay such as Nicola Pizza?

Montgomery: Not a single negative thing about taking over the Rehoboth mainstay – actually, just the opposite. We’ve had an enormous amount of support. Everyone is sad to see Nicola Pizza leave – I’ve personally grown up eating there and will now drive to Lewes to continue to enjoy their Nic-o-bolis, pasta, and great pizza – but people have been very excited to see a locally-established business come into Downtown Rehoboth to take over the iconic location. We plan to keep the signature front booths in a remodeled format as so many of us have enjoyed sitting in those same window seats for decades.

While we will do a full remodel of the location, we know the history and are excited to be investing in Downtown Rehoboth. We are calling this location Downtown Blues, because having a Bethany Blues in Bethany, and a Bethany Blues in Lewes, we often get folks showing up to the wrong location to pick up their take-out orders. Therefore, we wanted to change it up slightly while allowing everyone that loves our brand to know we are still the same folks preparing their BBQ.

Amanda Peukert

Amanda Peukert is a Los Angeles-based writer with a love for tattoos, music, food, and film. She received her BA and MFA in creative writing from California State University, Long Beach. Her work has appeared in/on SPIN, LA Taco, Tattoodo, Skin Deep, and Tattoo Energy. When she’s not writing, you can catch her listening to Alice in Chains and Tupac, or watching movies like The Crow and Halloween while eating tacos and drinking a cold beer.
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