From soothing spas to high-end gift shops, new businesses cater to the ever growing resort communities. And here’s even better news—they’re open all year.
Divine Knead owner Becky Riley says even folks who live
at the beach require pampering. Photograph by Steven Billups,
With more full-time residents in and near the First State’s beach towns come opportunities for retailers and service providers to offer their wares year round. This year’s crop of new businesses is taking advantage of that growing customer base.
Don’t believe the tourist brochures. Even people who live at the beach year round have stress. That’s one of the reasons Becky Riley, owner of Divine Knead (123B Second St., 229-4369), chose Lewes to offer her by-appointment-only spa services. Along with massage and reflexology, she offers reiki, facials and a full line of corrective skin care products.
For a different kind of relaxation, Tyndall’s Casual Furniture (16813 Coastal Hwy., 645-2200) stocks a wide selection of outdoor, poolside, porch and sunroom furniture. Though Tyndall’s has been in business in Laurel since 1980 and once had a store in Dover, customers now have direct access to brands like Tommy Bahama Home, Tropitone, Lane Venture, Lloyd Flanders, Telescope and Winston.
Tiaras Bridal Boutique (17605 Nassau Commons Blvd., 645-6990) also provides more convenience for locals, who at one time were forced to travel at least to Dover to find formalwear. Tiaras features lower-priced bridalwear for those headed out of town and more elaborate gowns for people staying closer to home. Tiaras also carries men’s formalwear, gowns for attendants and mothers of the bride, and prom wear.
Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach
The glaring absence of a satisfactory shop in which to find underthings led Sue Petty and Michiko Seto to open Something Comfortable (70 Rehoboth Ave., 227-6180), a lingerie and sleepwear shop. With an expansive line of women’s undergarments and shapewear, as well as men’s loungewear, the two could have easily rested on the fact that they offer goods that are almost impossible to find without driving an hour. But they still spice things up with weekly Sunday pajama parties that feature wine and models showing off the shop’s wares.
It’s no surprise that Lisa Zweifel and Roberta Hennessy, owners of Sea of Seductions Boutique (Del. 1, Izzy Plaza, Dewey Beach, 227-1923) like rainy days. It’s those times, after all, when indoor recreation is much more on people’s minds and thoughts might turn from bathing suits and Frisbee to lingerie and love games. Their couple-friendly shop offers leatherwear, bridal items and costumes in women’s sizes up to 4X, as well as men’s loungewear.
Speaking of things that are hot, Peppers, purveyors of products that light your fire in a totally different way, has moved to a new location in the Midway Galleria (18701 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-4608). The hot sauce shop still offers more than 6,500 types of culinary fire starters, as well as drink mixers and hot sauce collectibles. It now has more than 6,000 square feet to display products and offer regular cooking demonstrations.
Looking to turn down the heat with a little dip? Pineapple Princess (301 Rehoboth Ave., 227-8705) features swim and resort wear all year. The store carries a wide selection of sizes, and it handles bathing suit alterations.
For occasions that might call for something a little more formal, Claire’s Boutique (247 Rehoboth Ave. at the Hotel Rehoboth, 227-6840) specializes in classic styles with a modern twist.
Tuesday Morning (4493 Del. 1, Rehoboth Beach, 644-7175), receives a new shipment of housewares—you guessed it—every Tuesday morning.
Brad Holsinger and Ed Moore, co-owners of Mod Cottage (247 Rehoboth Ave. under Hotel Rehoboth, 227-7277), bring a little something for the Crate & Barrel crowd that’s jonesing for modern lines among the kitsch. They out to feature home furnishing, accessories, bath wares, stationery, and gifts that previously were found only in Washington or Philadelphia. Furniture includes items from Gus Designs and kitchenware from Barefoot Contessa.
The hottest new ride at the beach this year may resemble something your 6-year-old motors around the driveway in, thanks to the folks at Beach Fun Rentals and Sales (77 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7246). They’re the sole renters of the Scoot Coupe, a two-seat, three-wheeled, street-legal enclosed scooter powered by a 55cc engine that looks, as co-owner Lisa Paul says, a lot like a Barbie dream car. But with a maximum speed of 45 mph and gas mileage of 88 mpg, they might seem like a dream. Beach Fun will also sell Scoot Coupes, touted as an ideal mode of transit for short trips around town.
Bethany Beach-Fenwick Island
It took more than 15 years of hosting neighboring exhibits at Rehoboth Art League shows for painters Laura Hickman and Aubré Duncan to realize they could benefit from opening a gallery together. The result is The Gallery on Central Avenue (10 Central Ave., Ocean View, 539-5730), which features their works, as well as prints and cards based on their works and original jewelry by local crafters. Hickman is known for pastel landscapes, and
For home items and collectibles that have been around a bit more, Scarlett’s Treasures—Lavender & Lace (Del. 26, Clarksville, 539-5933) is the dual creation of owners Pauline Blasena and Judy Brand, who seek out fine collectibles and antiques in their individual areas of expertise.
Bayside Rug Co. (Village of Fenwick, 537-1377) began as an offshoot of the Brasure family’s rug cleaning business and has established a separate presence under the guidance of Peggy Brasure. The shop now features the full line of Claire Murray hook rugs and associated products.
Yet another gaping niche—that of fine gifts—led to the creation of Cattails (Marketplace at Sea Colony, Del. 1, Bethany Beach, 537-1142), which features home accessories, stationery, bath and body products, and children’s toys. Featured lines include Tommy Bahama dinnerware, custom invitations by Inscribe, and spa and cosmetic products by Bliss of New York.
Gems by the Shore (26D Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 539-6151) makes itself irresistible to the women in your life, pairing fine jewelry at the downstairs showroom with funky and fun women’s clothing in the boutique upstairs. And if the clasp on her bracelet should happen to snap while body surfing, no worries: Gems by the Shore also does repairs.