Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill on Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth Beach is growing, without – technically – expanding.
For the past two decades, brothers Chris and Anthony Jacona have operated the famous Caribbean-themed seafood restaurant in the back building at 1 Wilmington Ave. Outside their restaurant, sharing the same address and opening around the same time, was Dave & Skippy’s Gourmet Bagels. After running the bagel store for years, the Jacona brothers decided to close it down and expand Zogg’s. The catch is that the new Zogg and the old Zogg will function as two completely separate entities.
During a compliance permit hearing before city commissioners on December 17, Chris said the original plan was to consolidate the two structures into a large restaurant. However, he continued, this option became unrealistic after the consolidation of learning triggered the requirement to install a sprinkler system everywhere.
Jacona came to the meeting ready to operate the new restaurant under the same name as the original, but commissioners were concerned that the city could track two different businesses on the same plot, under the same name. Town lawyer Glenn Mandalas said there were other restaurants in town operating under the same name – Grotto, Thrashers, Nicola – but they are on separate lots.
Ultimately, Jacona acknowledged the possible confusion and said Zogg’s Rum Shack was a suitable name for them as it would help clear up any confusion but also allow brand recognition.
The Rum Shack will continue to develop the Jacona brothers’ Cape region footprint. They were among the first local restaurateurs to take their well-known offerings to the streets when they started operating the Sea Hogg food truck in 2015. They also own and operate The Wheelhouse along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in downtown. Lewes Town and Bushels Crab House & Seafood on Route 1 outside of Lewes.
Jacona said he hopes to start renovations in the first or second week of January. It should take two to three months, but it depends on the availability of supplies and manpower, he said.
Depending on the compliance permit application, the restaurant’s opening hours will be 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week.
Winter opening hours for the premier Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill are noon to 11 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday noon to midnight. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information, visit zoggsbar.com or call 302-227-7660.