The Definition of Classic
There’s a reason Feby’s Fishery has stayed in business for 35 years: It doesn’t swim against the tide.
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3701 Lancaster Pike
Any broiled fish du jour, Dungeness crab legs, crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller
All-you-can-eat crab legs know no boundaries. Upon several visits to Feby’s Fishery, the classic seafood house on Lancaster Pike in Wilmington, I witnessed diners from across the social strata—young and old, black and white, businessmen in suits, painters in coveralls—roll up their sleeves one at a time and dig hungrily into a bucket of Dungeness crab legs. It was a beautiful thing.
Feby’s, which claims to have introduced Dungeness to this blue crab-dominated area, celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, which in itself is another beautiful thing. Beautiful because, without deviating a whole heck of a lot from its simple beginnings as a retail fish market with six stools for diners, Feby’s has outlasted scores of restaurants in and around Wilmington.
Philip and Mary DiFebo began Feby’s in 1974 as a seafood shop in Elsmere. When they later added a takeout counter, the crunch of diners (even then the du Pont and Copeland crowd mingled with the neighborhood Joes) became so overwhelming, they were forced to find larger digs.
Wisely, the DiFebos brought the fresh fish market when they moved the business, now a proper sit-down restaurant. Today the market remains at the heart of Feby’s. Not only does it give customers a peek at the fresh product they’ll soon be eating, it gives Feby’s a humongous advantage over its competition. Good luck getting that kind of access at a place like Joe’s Crab Shack.
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