September 2021 - Let The Shows Begin

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Dave Tiberi Fights the Good Fight

Some Restaurant Groups Are Doubling Down

Yorklyn Moving Full Steam Ahead

LET THE SHOWS BEGIN Area performing arts groups are planning a vibrant restart




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Out & About Magazine Vol. 34 | No. 7



7 War on Words 9 FYI 12 What Readers Are Saying 13 Worth Recognizing 15 Dave Tiberi: Fighting the Good Fight

FOCUS 19 Brandywine Arts Festival at 60 22 Let the Shows Begin 32 Destination Yorklyn


EAT 37 Hospitality Groups on the Move

Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Wilmington, DE 19801 Publisher Gerald duPhily • Director of Publications Jim Miller • Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Designer Allanna Peck, Catalyst Visuals, LLC, Contributing Writers Jill Althouse-Wood, Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Adriana Camacho-Church, JulieAnne Cross, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett

Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Matthew Loeb, Matt Urban Special Projects John Holton, Bev Zimmermann

PLAY 42 Fill in the Blanks

DRINK 43 Delaware Park Racing Forward 47 Mead Magic


WILMINGTON 58 In the City 60 On the Riverfront

On the cover: Top: Delaware Art Museum (behind Out & About) 2nd Row: Arden Concert Gild; Chapel Street Players 3rd Row: Nanci Hersh Zoom Room; Delaware Shakespeare



All new coming this month.

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Marcus Miller

Clifford Brown Jazz Festival Photo by Tim Hawk




A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications

Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine

THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

MEDIA WATCH •Let’s start with this dangler from The Philadelphia Inquirer: “The Indianapolis Colts added three-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson to the injury list after suffering the same foot injury as quarterback Carson Wentz.” Changing “suffering” to “he suffered” would have saved this errant sentence, which makes it sound like the Colts incurred the injury. • Also in The Inquirer, Stephanie Farr wrote this about a local DJ: “After graduating high school and touring with a band . . .” This shortcut for the term “graduating from high school (or college)” sets my teeth on edge. • Again in the Inky, EJ Smith scored a double in writing about competition in the Eagles camp. First he created this redundancy: “So it’s safe to assume that will permeate through much of the summer sessions.” Later, he made this all-too-common singular verb/plural subject miscue: “There’s also plenty of snaps up for grabs in the running back room.” Should be there are, of course. • Ben Mace of Gannett newspapers also exhibited subject/verb agreement blindness with this: “Present-day marriages are falling off because responsible people are pausing before they enter a contract in which too few nowadays succeeds.” Few is plural. Therefore, the verb is succeed. • In USA TODAY, Josh Peter quoted surfer Carissa Moore thusly: “It’s been work everyday. It still is work everyday.” That should be every day — two words. Everyday is an adjective, as in “an everyday activity.” • Chris Kwiecinski, also in USA TODAY: “In the fourth quarter, Arike Ogunbowale was the best player on the court between 24 of the best players on the planet.” The proper preposition when more than two people or items are involved is among. • USA TODAY headline: “All-Stars bring Hawkins together after years apart.” The story was about former Major Leaguer LaTroy Hawkins getting together with his brother at the All-Star game, so Hawkinses, as weird as it looks, is the correct plural. • A reader reports that NBC News anchor Lester Holt, in discussing the Olympics, asked, "What about we fans?" The preposition about requires the objective pronoun us. • Julianne McShane, a freelancer, posted this about National Spelling Bee champion Zaila Avant-garde: “[her homeschool schedule] keeps her studying six days a week and year-round, but

Word of the Month

verigreen Pronounced VER-i-green, it’s a noun meaning a simple or gullible person.

By Bob Yearick

for less hours per day than a normal school schedule." When referring to plurals (hours), the adjective is fewer. • O&A contributor Larry Nagengast caught this in a Delaware Liberal post: “While progressives don’t control that caucus, they now have more than enough members to reign in Schwartzkopf’s worst impulses.” Noting that the correct term is rein in, Larry observes: “So let’s get this straight: Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf reigns, and that's why progressives try to rein him in.” • And finally, old reliable Tom McCarthy, Phillies TV play-by-play guy, gifted us with a perennial while speaking of an opposing player: “He’s an alumni of Central high school.” As we know — don’t we, gang? — alumni is plural, alumnus is the singular for a male graduate.

DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCIES DEPT. • The Inquirer attributed this wordy quote to Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez : “But when you visually see it first hand, it can be traumatizing and tough.” And Dr. Anthony Fauci, commenting on the Delta variant, said this: “It has deleterious, harmful effects on pregnant women.” Deleterious: harmful, damaging.

LITERALLY OF THE MONTH This month, we have two for you: Reader Mark Mervine sent us this gem, which includes a crazy misspelling as well as an abuse of literally: “I literally bald my eyes out . . .” You bawl your eyes out, but never literally. And Carli Lloyd, of the U.S. women’s soccer team, apparently is now heartless and soulless, based on her post-Olympics comment: “I’ve literally poured my heart and soul into this team.”

NOT LITERALLY OF THE MONTH In related news, we have a rarity, courtesy of talented Inquirer sports columnist David Murphy — a clever and correct use of literally: “In both baseball and in the world at large, the choice to get vaccinated is quite literally a choice to take one for the team.” OK, he could have omitted quite, but otherwise, spot-on.

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar:

Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf ( or call me at 302-482-3737.


START Things worth knowing A RUN FOR THE BIRDS


ri-State Bird Rescue & Research, which has been a part of the Delaware community for more than 45 years and each year treats more than 3,000 wild native birds, is hosting Feathered Friends 5K on Sun., Sept. 19 at Glasgow Park in Newark. The run, which can be done in person or virtually, will raise funds for Tri-State’s bird rescue efforts. The in-person run starts at 9am with no in-person registration. Visit



ilmington earned high marks in a recent national report by Business Facilities, an international publication that serves as a leading source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals. The city was rated the nation’s #2 Best Business Climate for under-200,000 population and Delaware ranked #10 in the country for its tech talent pipeline. Other local top 10 placements in the 17th annual publication include Wilmington’s ranking as part of the #7 Large Healthcare Hub in the U.S and Delaware’s rankings of #6 state for Electricity from Solar and #9 state for Offshore Wind Power. Delaware’s placement among the nation’s top 10 states for its tech talent pipeline — a new category in the report — is no surprise given that there are 70% more tech jobs across all sectors available than any other job opportunities in the state. From August 2019 to July 2020 alone, Delaware averaged more than 4,000 IT job postings and 474 hires per month. Delaware has more than 17,000 jobs filled by IT professionals and degrees in computer science and information technology rising by about 20% over the last two years.




creen Stars is the theme of this year’s 10th annual Auburn Heights Invitational set for Sept. 18 at Auburn Heights in Yorklyn. Classic cars matching those that appeared in films such as The Graduate, American Graffiti, Animal House and Magnum P.I. will be on hand as well as some of the finest early automobiles of the last century. Visitors can also explore the recently renovated Marshall Steam Museum, which includes a new attraction: an exhibit of 80 extraordinary pedal cars. Event admission includes entry to the Marshall Steam Museum, which houses the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars, plus free steam-popped popcorn from the museum’s restored 1930s Cretors popper, and rides on the Auburn Valley Railroad. A silent auction and raffle featuring unique and extraordinary local items round out the day’s activities. All proceeds from the event support the Marshall Steam Museum and Friends of Auburn Heights. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the gate with discounts for those under 15. Visit

anielle Johnson, the front woman of funk/soul band Hoochi Coochi, is releasing a self-produced EP this month under the moniker Sug Daniels. Johnson has been releasing music under the Sug Daniels since June and after her first release, Heavy, she was approached by Weird Sister Records (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for a re-release and continued project support. A release party is set for Fri., Sept. 3 at the Jackson Inn (101 N. DuPont St., Wilm.) from 6-10pm. Also performing that evening will be Zookie, Chvnce and Lauren & The Homewreckers. Tickets are $10. To sample Sug Daniels’ music, visit

Donate Delaware with Robyn Gott of Sojourners' Place.



onate Delaware is asking organizations and communities throughout the state that need assistance in obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) to complete the request form on its website. Donate Delaware volunteers will then work with nonprofit and community leaders to ensure those requests are met. Visit

LIST YOUR AREA EVENT... FREE! Hoochie Coochi front woman Danielle Johnson performs solo as Sug Daniels. SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 9

Things worth knowing



even local high school students recently completed Wilmington developer The Buccini/Pollin Group’s first internship program designed to expose students to the many aspects of real estate development prior to graduation. The goal of the three-week, paid internship is to show students a variety of potential careers and connect them with pathways for future employment either at BPG or other real estate and construction firms. “The goal of the program was really to inspire interest in future career paths by Recent BPG University graduates (l-r) Vinnie Valdivieso, Jared Hayes, providing real-world work Valeria Mora-Tapia, Kassidy Baptiste, and Grace Umoren-Udo. experience in an office setting,” said Sarah Lamb, Vice President of Design, Marketing, & Community Outreach for The Buccini/Pollin Group. “We will consider the program a success when our students return after high school to apply for our college internships, post-graduate positions, and so forth.”

For more information on how to get involved with BPG University or adopt a similar program at your company, email

A patent model of improvements in caddies for baking power by Edward Norton.



agley Museum’s new Nation of Inventors exhibition, which opens Sept. 13, celebrates the spirit of ingenuity by taking visitors on a journey of the patent system using Hagley’s unique collection of more than 100 patent models. Patent models are scaled representations of inventions that were part of the original patent application process starting in 1790. The patent models demonstrated the key components, usefulness, and novelty of inventions. Beautifully crafted, they not only demonstrated practical ideas but are also works of art. Hagley’s patent models traveled the globe and have been displayed in the National Museum of China in Beijing and in Disneyland Park in Paris. Visit


Cyclists can visit three historic river towns during the annual River Towns Ride. O&A file photo



wo Delaware bicycling traditions continue this fall with the 35th Annual Amish Bike Tour set for Sat., Sept. 18 in Dover and the 9th Annual River Towns Ride taking place Sat., Oct. 2 in New Castle County. The Amish Bike Tour offers routes of 15, 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles over quiet country backroads with all routes working in a rest stop at the famous Amish Schoolhouse and its popular fresh-baked pies. Proceeds benefit Bike Delaware's efforts to improve

and expand bike transportation in the state. Visit The River Towns Ride offers cyclists the opportunity to visit the historic riverfronts of Delaware City, New Castle and Wilmington while earning medals based on distance completed. Riders can start in any of the three river towns with a post-ride party featuring live music, games, beer and non-alcoholic beverages at Delaware City’s Battery Park. Visit

STILL WORKING REMOTELY? MANY SMALL BUSINESSES DO NOT HAVE THAT OPTION Wilmington small businesses are facing a great challenge and they need your support. As we begin the long road to rebuilding our economy, it’s important to know how to use your time, money, or even your influence to help! As much as we would love for it to be otherwise, COVID-19 is still a very big part of our lives. Support from the local community is more important than ever to help our Wilmington businesses stay open, recover and thrive. HOW CAN YOU HELP? Buy gift cards to help businesses now Order a meal for take-out or delivery Make an appointment for local services Choose local vendors for your goods and services Are You A Small Business Owner?

Business Directory

As a member of WilmingtonMADE, your business can receive free paid advertising. Signing up a business is free, just visit our website: WilmingtonMADE.COM

To learn more about Wilmington Alliance and our work visit follow @WilmingtonAlliance






About Post-Pandemic Resurgence With a new executive director, the Delaware Art Museum is emphasizing diversity and First State talent while undergoing a major reinstallation By Bob Yearick, August 2021

National Bourbon Heritage Month is an observance in the United States that calls for celebration of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit” during the month of September.

Come check out some great pricing and barrel picks to celebrate!

Thank you so much for your recent article in Out & About. I appreciate the time you took to delve into Molly Giordano’s leadership and the many ways the Museum is changing to serve the public. Articles like yours powerfully demonstrate why support for the arts is vital to our community. — Amelia Wiggins About Artful Approach Instead of treating arts funding as philanthropy, why not treat it like an investment? And the beauty of this investment: the returns are both immediate and long-term. By Jerry duPhily, August 2021 I hope Delaware takes advantage of ARPA tourism dollars to support the arts here! Thanks for your post! — Kirsten McGregor I TOTALLY concur with you, Jerry. The Arts are the PIVOT of our Economy and Society. — Eunice LaFate About Three’s Company Sleeping Bird Coffee is the latest addition to the burgeoning Miller Road Station By Matt Morrissette, July 2021


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WILMINGTON 904 Concord Avenue Wilmington, DE 19802 Tel: (302) 652-3792


Just had lunch there today. SO GOOD. I had The Sparrow. If PB&J and grilled cheese had a baby it would be The Sparrow. Thank you Sleeping Bird Coffee I will be back soon — Anne Marie Waterhouse Tried this new spot this morning. It was so good and very busy! I will definitely go back again! Maple biscuits=WOW — Laura Leslie My girlfriend told me they have really good breakfast sandwiches over there also — @day_one_adventures



WORTH RECOGNIZING Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond



inda Perkins uses a cane to walk and move around. It keeps her steady as she sweeps up trash in her neighborhood or while using a trowel to pull stubborn weeds from cement cracks. Sometimes neighbors come out to help. But Perkins doesn’t want them to help because they feel sorry for her. She wants them to help because they care about their community and want to keep it clean. “I was raised by my grandmother and great grandmother,” says the Northeast Wilmington resident. “They taught me to help. To be considerate. When I look out my window and I see a mess, it does something to you. So, you go out there and do something about it. If you start, others will follow.” This summer, Perkins, who for 22 years has worked as a school bus driver for the Brandywine School District, helped clean Johnston Playground in her neighborhood. She was one of 70 volunteers who participated in Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s Rock the Block project. During the two-day event more than 150 construction bags were filled with debris. Rock the Block includes weeding, raking, and removal of trash. Andre Wilburn, one of Habitat’s neighborhood revitalization coordinators, galvanized and spread the word to civic associations about the event. He says it’s not just about cleaning a community park, it’s about empowering residents to maintain a standard of living they can be proud of. Carla Davis, 57, who has volunteered with Perkins on many neighborhood beautification projects, says it makes her feel good to help. She remembers the time she helped paint a porch while it rained. “We felt so dedicated,” she says. “There’s a few mindful of us who keep up with it.” Exterior painting of homes and front doors as well as the distribution of Ring video doorbells to enhance residents’ safety, are other activities that are part of Habitat’s 10-year-old revitalization and beautification program. “Our goal is to improve quality of life,” says Kevin Smith, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County. Clean streets and green lots also make an impact on a person’s mental health. “Studies show an unkempt vacant lot can increase a person’s blood pressure.” Indeed, a 2018 University of Pennsylvania study showed that

Community clean team (l-r): Frank Perkins, Carla Davis, Kevin Grimes, Jaehn G. Tindley Dennis (center), Waynne Dobson, Pastor Sandra Ben, Linda Perkins (2nd from right), Antonette Douglass.

revitalizing dilapidated environments may be an important, inexpensive tool to address mental health in urban communities. Greening vacant urban land significantly reduces depression and lifts resident’s moods and feeling of self-worth, particularly for those struggling economically, says the study. “To clean a neighborhood park on a single day is very inexpensive, probably only costing us $1,000 in materials and food for the volunteers,” says Smith. The organization’s revitalization and beautification program costs $40,000 annually. Costs cover two revitalization and beautification projects per year, per neighborhood. These projects involve engaging local civic associations, organizations, businesses, and Habitat staff in neighborhoods where Habitat builds affordable housing for low-income residents. Those neighborhoods include Simons Gardens in New Castle and Eastside in Wilmington. Earlier this year, Habitat received a $100,000 grant from the Republic Services Charitable Foundation, which helps fund neighborhood revitalization projects across the country. “Trash is a world issue, not a one block issue,” says Perkins. “You can’t think it’s not your problem and that it doesn’t affect you.” Perkins and Davis are two of 14 dedicated neighborhood volunteers involved with their 3rd District Neighborhood Planning Council (NPC) and local civic associations. They’re making a difference — from removing trash to delivering donated food to residents. “Everything in a community affects everyone in one way or another. From crime, vacant houses, poor lighting, and poor communicative representation,” says Jaehn G. Tindley Dennis, president of 3rd NPC and president of the Vandever Ave. Civic Association. — For more information on Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County visit and to contact the 3rd District Neighborhood Planning Council send an email to SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


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Long retired from wars in the boxing ring, the indefatigable Dave Tiberi battles for the poor and underserved in Delaware By Bob Yearick

The Tiberi-Toney fight ended with James Toney, his face a mask of pain, headed to the hospital, while Dave Tiberi lifted his hands in triumph. O&A photo Butch Comegys


hen Dave Tiberi talks, his hands flash out in front of him, punctuating his words. Look closely, and you see that he holds them cupped in a half-fist, like a boxer about to snap off a jab or throw a hook. Old habits — and muscle memory — die hard. Tiberi used those piston-like hands and a rock-solid jaw to fashion a 22-2-3 record and win the International Boxing Council Super Middleweight Championship on his way to a watershed moment in boxing history: his Feb. 8, 1992, fight against International Boxing Federation Middleweight Champion James Toney at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. ► SEPTEMBER 2021


FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT continued from previous page

Dave Tiberi is active in countless civic and business organizations. He's pictured here with WRK Group CEO Logan Herring (left) and retired school superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey.

The undefeated Toney, a 10-1 favorite, won a split decision that night, outraging many in a crowd that included a large contingent of Tiberi’s fellow Delawareans. Their reaction was echoed by ABC television commentator Alex Wallau, who called it “the most disgusting decision I’ve ever seen.” That opinion was reinforced by the discovery that the two judges who voted for Toney were unlicensed in New Jersey, while the one who gave the nod to Tiberi — by a healthy margin — was licensed in the state. So it would seem the decision was illegal on the face of it. Tiberi himself was convinced he had won. As he said then and has repeated since, “I went to the press conference afterwards; he went to the hospital.”

Senator Roth’s Hearings

Among the shocked attendees was U.S. Sen. William Roth, who happened to be from Delaware and also the head of the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. Roth quickly initiated hearings to probe the darker side of “the sweet science,” and the hearings eventually led to the Muhammed Ali Boxing Reform Act and the Professional Boxers Safety Act. A rematch seemed inevitable to many, but Tiberi refused all offers — which reportedly topped out at $500,000 — unless he fought as champion and Toney as the challenger. That was not to be, and Tiberi ended his seven-year professional career at the age of 25. Unlike many ex-fighters, the New Castle native never allowed boxing to define him. After a brief pause to process the shock of the Toney decision and to testify during Roth’s hearings, Tiberi immersed himself in business pursuits and charitable and philanthropic work that have earned him state and national recognition. Over the last three decades, propelled by an Energizer Bunny enthusiasm coupled with a preternatural disdain for sleep, he has continued to do well while doing good. Toward the end of his boxing career, Tiberi had a local cable TV show, and that morphed into TNT Video, Multimedia & Television Productions, Inc. As the digital age dawned, TNT Video developed expertise in web-based technologies and created software that provided first responders with critical information for managing emergency scenes. That led to the creation in 2005 of a second company, Emergency Response Protocol, which provides businesses with security systems that include body temperature and security camera installations, access control, and 24/7 live video monitoring. Tiberi is president and his wife, Angela, is CEO of the company, located in Newport. Meanwhile, he continues to be involved in myriad charities and community services. A partial list of the boards he has served or is serving on include the St. Francis Hospital Foundation, the Sunday Breakfast Mission Homeless Shelter, Delaware Boys and Girls Clubs, Delaware Police Chiefs Foundation, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Delaware Dream Center, and Leadership Delaware.


Training Police Candidates

He also founded the Delaware Decision Makers, and co-founded and served on the board as a volunteer at The Dave Tiberi Youth Center for 22 years. And for the last 30 years, he has been a volunteer instructor in defensive tactics at the Delaware State Police Academy in Dover. Two of his brothers served in Vietnam, and preventing suicides among military veterans is one of Tiberi's passions. “Do you know that almost 22 veterans commit suicide every day?” he asks. His support of veterans’ mental health resulted in the latest of many honors: an award on Sept. 25 from the 22in22 movement, which combats military veteran suicide. Tiberi is the second youngest in a family of two girls and 12 boys, seven of whom were involved in boxing at one level or another. Dave first entered a ring at the age of 5, and by 12 or 13 was taking on adults at Delaware Park’s Tuesday Night Fights. He turned pro at 18, soon after graduating from William Penn High School, where he was a twosport star. He made honorable mention All-State in baseball and was a standout center in football, where he balanced entreaties from coaches to gain weight while trying to maintain the 155-pound middleweight limit. In such a large family, luxuries were few, and hand-medowns were a fact of life. “When you’re a kid and three or four of your brothers wear a pair of sneakers and then you get them, or when you get a little hungry, it can be tough,” he says. “So when I see people out there hurting, and when I see people really struggling, I can relate. My mom and dad would never ask for help, but there were people who helped us, and I specifically remember them.“ That childhood and a strong religious foundation seem to fuel Tiberi’s tireless desire to give back, or, as he calls it, his “outreach.” His charitable work comes in both a macro and micro form. While he serves on boards and speaks to church and The New Castle native speaks at many events and usually urges the audience civic groups, he also performs everyday acts of kindness, like to find a way to get involved. handing out bags filled with food and cleaning products to the homeless he encounters during trips to the supermarket or gas station. The bags are prepared by his church, Parkview Assembly of God in Newark, and Tiberi keeps two or three in the back seat of his truck.

A Pandemic Catalyst

The pandemic (or should it now be called “the first pandemic”?) was a tailor-made catalyst for a Tiberi take-the-bit-in-his-teeth charge into action. It started in March of 2020 when his long-time friend and business partner, Richard Piendak, head of Richards Paving, heard a man and woman arguing over acquiring and wearing facemasks. Piendak called Tiberi, described the incident, and they both realized that a critical demand for masks and other protective equipment was imminent. “At that point,” says Tiberi, “nobody had even heard of personal protective equipment.” They quickly created Donate Delaware, a nonprofit aimed at helping health care organizations and first responders. A website was online within hours, PPE was gathered, and Piendak’s warehouse in Newport became a storage center. Tiberi has influential friends and acquaintances throughout the state, and he is not shy about asking for their help. In this case, he contacted State Sen. Nicole Poore, of New Castle, whom he has known for years. Poore put him and Piendak in touch with Christiana Care and its group of Delaware hospitals, and Donate Delaware was off and running. Since then, it has supplied more than a million PPEs to the community while partnering with several organizations, including JP Morgan, Bank of America, and AAA. “I got Dave and Richard the introductions they needed,” says Poore. “They did all the heavy lifting.” The senator is a big Tiberi fan. Calling him “relentless” in serving the underserved, she says, “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called Dave with a story about someone like Little Sisters of the Poor who needed assistance, and it didn’t matter if it was the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn, he would go and deliver, almost like Santa Claus, so that they had what they needed to help other people.”

‘One-off’ Training

“What lot of people don’t realize,” she adds, “is that while he’s done a lot of training for the state police, he’s also done a lot of one-off with kids who are high risk, who could take one ►


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path or another. The minute someone continued from previous page calls and says, ‘Hey, can you talk to this kid,’ he makes sure he schedules that time — and he does it.” Piendak’s wife, Kathy, is another admirer. During Out & About’s phone interview with her husband, she grabbed the receiver and began — there is no other word for it — gushing. “There’s not one charity that he doesn’t support, whether it’s school supplies, coats in the winter time, he has a way of doing good wherever he goes,” she said. “When you have a need and you call him, if he doesn’t have an answer, he knows someone who does.” As the executive director of Delaware Regional Dream Center, Jeremiah Maina also has seen Tiberi in action. The center, which is a nonprofit associated with Tiberi’s church, provides community outreach. “Dave through Donation Delaware was key in assisting us with masks and hand sanitizer,” says Maina. “That guy is far beyond caring. He has a heart for the community and makes sure people in the community are getting their needs met.” Despite all his charitable and business endeavors, at his core Tiberi is a family man. Married for 31 years, he and Angela (“She’s the backbone of everything I do; she keeps me straight”) have three grown daughters: Alexis, Angela Marie, and Ariel. “They are my biggest accomplishment in life,” says the paterfamilias. “They mean everything to me.” The Tiberis recently — and joyfully — welcomed a male into the family: Dave Tiberi with his wife Angela (2nd from right) Alexis’ son, Callahan David and daughters (l-r): Ariel, Angela Marie and Alexis. McLeish. Angela and Dave live in Hockessin and take frequent long walks near their home. The walks, combined with training police candidates and a group workout in Smyrna on Thursday nights, help keep the 6-foot, 170-pound Tiberi in shape. As Poore says, “He is the first to give credit to others,” so it’s no surprise when Tiberi credits his native state for much of his successful charity work. Citing the almost instant creation of Donate Delaware as an example, he rattles off some of the businesses, organizations, institutions, and politicians that offered to help. “Everybody I’ve reached out to has responded with either time, talent or treasure – the three Ts that are key to a successful community project,” he says, then adds one of his aphorisms: “If you can’t do it in Delaware, it can’t be done.” “No one can say no to Dave,” says Jennifer Cohan, CEO of Leadership Delaware. “He’s always giving back to the community and asking others to do the same.” Sure enough, Tiberi ends our interview by calling on fellow Delawareans to step up in the face of poverty, crime, a new virus, and other societal challenges. “Everybody can do something,” he says. “What’s going to impact our community is our involvement with nonprofits. There are so many who need support, and we could do so much more. Right now, we don’t have a choice. We all have to dive in together.” — Dave Tiberi is attempting to raise $20,000 by Sept. 24 for Stop Soldier Suicide. To donate, go to: To give to Donate Delaware, go to, or call Tiberi at 690-6946.


The Brandywine Arts Festival has earned a reputation as one of the nation's top 100 arts festivals. Photos by Larry Nagengast

A Colorful Tradition Brandywine Arts Festival returns for 60th year


he Brandywine Festival of the Arts has always been cause for celebration — a change of seasons, the brightness of art in multiple media — and this year a post-pandemic rejuvenation for its 60th anniversary. “Always the weekend after Labor Day,” Festival producer Barry Schlecker likes to say as he promotes what has grown from a one-day fair with two-dimensional art and a bull roast in downtown Wilmington into the state’s largest two-day cultural event. Returning Sept. 11-12 to the scenic Josephine Gardens in Brandywine Park after a pandemic-induced hiatus, the festival includes exhibits by about 200 artists in an array of media, including painting, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, woodworking, fabric and photography. And there’s more — face-painting and other activities for kids, animal adoption opportunities, and a food court featuring a diverse array of local restaurateurs and food trucks as well as beer and wine. ►

By Larry Nagengast



A COLORFUL TRADITION Among the headliners this continued from previous page year will be painter Sandy Askey-Adams, known for the warmth and serenity of her pastels, who Schlecker has designated as the festival’s featured artist.

FRIDAYS Bringing you fresh, local, seasonal produce, honey, artisanal foods and handicraft. Live music most weeks.

For a single admission fee of $5, guests can enjoy the Festival Saturday and Sunday.







Askey-Adams, from Bucks County, Pa., has been exhibiting at the festival since 1982, missing only one year because of an illness. “I like the people who run the festival. They understand the artist, and the people who come to the festival appreciate the art. It’s a happy crowd,” she says. It’s also a big one — with the festival typically drawing about 15,000 visitors over the weekend. One reason for its popularity is its two-days-for-the-price-of-one admissions policy. “Come on Saturday to browse and come back Sunday to buy,” Schlecker says, all for a single $5 admission. He’s adding one more enticement this year. Groups of 10 or more — perhaps intent on having a reunion or family party — can buy tickets in advance for $4 each and reserve special picnic-table seating for their special event. Over the years, the festival has built a reputation as one of the best in the region and one of the top 100 in the country. “I can’t believe how much it has grown,” Askey-Adams says, recalling earlier years when exhibitors hung their works on snow fencing rather than under tents. Schlecker took over running the event in 2010, tweaking its original name, the Brandywine Arts Festival, after its former operators ran into management and financial troubles. Jewelry maker Olga Ganoudis, painter Larry Anderson and the late Mitch Lyons, a potter and printmaker, approached him after the former organization fell apart and asked him to put it back together again, Schlecker says. Schlecker, who had previously run a film festival in Newark and would later revive the ice cream festival at Rockwood Park, was developing a reputation as a “festival fixer” and promptly accepted the challenge.

He raised standards — requiring artists to sell only their own work, so there won’t be any resale or massmanufactured items at the show. Not only is the event a crowdpleaser but it is also a significant source of revenue for its exhibitors. Anderson and Askey-Adams say shoppers they’ve met at the festival contact them to make purchases during the year. Ganoudis and Claymont painter Rick Phillips have told Schlecker that their early successes at the festival convinced them to concentrate on their art fulltime. “I’ve met people when they were getting married. I’ve watched their families grow up. I see many of the same people year after year,” Askey-Adams says. While the festival has attracted artists from as far away as Texas and California, most of the exhibitors are from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Some of the more familiar names who will be displaying their works this year include Eric Zippe, Colleen Zufelt, Beth Palser, Greg Losco and Karen Trimble. There will be some newcomers too. At least 30 of this year’s exhibitors are emerging artists — young professionals who are new to the festival or who have exhibited for fewer than three years, Schlecker says. The festival’s timing makes it appealing to visitors for many reasons. “Its a great opportunity to fill your home — or your yard or your jewelry box — with a tremendous selection of original art,” Schlecker says. “And it’s also a great place to find special items for so many names on your holiday gift list.”

What do Thomas Edison, Madam C. J. Walker, and George Corliss have in common?

Find out at Nation of Inventors. Opens September 13 at Hagley Musueum. HAGLEY.ORG/INVENTORS


— Festival hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, Sept. 11, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, Sept. 12. Admission is $5 for both days; children under 12 accompanied by an adult are admitted free. Dogs on leashes are always welcome. Parking will be available at Salesianum School and Abessinio Stadium, with shuttle buses transporting visitors to the festival grounds. For more information, visit SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 21


Arden Concert Gild resumes its live season on Sept. 22, leading off with Yo La Tengo (San Fermin, pictured here, performed at the Gild Hall in 2015). Photo by Moonloop Photography

Let the Shows Begin Events through year-end mark the return of Wilmington’s vibrant scene By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald


s much as I embrace our steamy Delaware summers, I’m much more of an autumn gal, eagerly awaiting the chance to chill and get my fill with local arts and culture pals. There’s something for everyone in this sneak peek at what’s to come.


BOOTLESS STAGEWORKS Boot(less) hits the ground Fri., Sept. 10 with English for Criminals: A Comedy Game Show for mature audiences hosted by comedian Brandon Jackson and Na’im Ali. This show’s freshly jailed “convicts” enroll in prison English 101 class, only to discover the instructor goes rogue. On Sat., Sept. 18, laughs continue with The Comedy Corner at Bootless, a monthly mix of local, regional, and national comedians hosted by Belynda Cleare and K-Mack. Concerts at Bootless presents Romeo Rage produced by Realize Records, arrives on Sat., Sept. 25. It’s the debut of the duo who blur genres from theatrical to new wave, British punk, and more. Oedipus for Kids! – A Musical of Epic Proportion runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 and take note: It is so NOT for kids. It’s a misguided, educational experience that spirals into a Charybdis-like whirlpool of dark comedy. Finally, the family-friendly Every Time A Bell Rings – An Original Holiday Adaptation, runs Dec. 9-11. This adaptation of It's A Wonderful Life finds George Pratt standing at the edge of a bridge contemplating his life’s importance. 1301 N. Broom St., Wilmington • 887.9300 • Tickets: Facebook/Instagram: @BootlessStageworks • Twitter: @BootlessDE

Photo Justin Walsh

Kelly Warne and Sean Gallagher starred in the Bootless production, Venus in Fur.

THE CANDLELIGHT THEATRE Their season launches with Best of Candlelight – A Musical Spectacular (Sept. 18 to Oct. 31), a collection of iconic moments from the past 20 years. In a seasonal celebration of theater reopening comes Christmas Carol by Candlelight (Nov. 20 through Dec. 22),

with the first act staging a reimagining of A Christmas Carol followed by holiday music audiences have come to love in the Christmas by Candlelight series. Main-stage tickets include dinner and show. Also on the playbill is Candlelight Comedy Club, running Thur., Sept. 16, Oct. 21 and Dec. 2 and Quizzo with Dan Healy on Mon., Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 22, and Dec. 13. 2208 Millers Rd., Wilmington 475-2313 • Facebook/Instagram: @candlelighttheatrede Twitter: @newcandlelight

The Chapel Street Players are looking forward to bringing back the magic as they did with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2013)

CHAPEL STREET PLAYERS Following a season of virtual performances, Chapel Street returns to the live stage! First up in September is Moon Over the Brewery (which was delayed in 2020). Kathleen Kimber directs this story of a single mom, her daughter, and the daughter’s imaginary friend. November finds Zachary Jackson directing All Together Now, a review of classic and contemporary hits from musical theatre that’s sure to be a night of fun, highlighting special guests and major announcements! Get into full holiday swing with A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Show. Director Brian Touchette and his cast of radio actors bring Dickens’ classic to life in a way you have to hear to believe. 27 N. Chapel St., Newark • 368-2248 • Facebook: @chapelstreetplayers CHOIR SCHOOL OF DELAWARE October 21 through 24, The Choir School hosts the inaugural Bent, But Not Broken — a four-day conference amplifying the musical contributions of Black artists. The weekend is comprised of performances from nationally esteemed choral groups complemented by workshops led by the nation's most knowledgeable scholars of music and history. Following the conference, Total Praise fills the air on Sun., Oct. 24 at Grace Church. This performance of music by Adolphus Hailstork — guest-conducted by Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand with a guest instrumental ensemble — amplifies stories of triumph and struggle still resonant today. Sounds of the Season brings the music to Winterthur on Sat., Dec. 11, in a two-part program with messages of diversity and hope. Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King — a Christmas cantata composition with poet Langston Hughes — opens the program with holiday works by musicians of color rounding out the performance. Performance venue: Varying in Delaware 543-8657 • Facebook: @choirschool • Instagram: @choirschoolofdelaware Twitter: @choirschoolofde ► SEPTEMBER 2021


Photo Peter Kuo

ARDEN CONCERT GILD Arden is reopening. First up is the 113th Arden Fair on Sat., Sept. 4, with its customary mix of games, food, antiques, along with bands like Splashing Pearls and Montana Wildaxe. The official Grand Reopening concert is Yo La Tengo on Wed., Sept. 22 — but sorry fans, it’s sold out (congrats Arden). Never fear, the remaining season is rich with acts like the musician extraordinaire Larry Campbell with singer Teresa Williams Friday, Oct. 8; Sierra Hull’s full band show on Friday, Oct. 22; The Claudettes’ wild punkish swing music Sat., Oct. 30; ADG7, a combo of South Korean folk and K-pop with dancing and costumes, Thursday, Nov. 18; and Twisted Pine high-energy acoustic music on Sat., Dec. 4; and Marshall Crenshaw rounds out the season on Sat., Dec. 11. All of Arden’s indoor shows will require proof of vaccination. 2126 The Highway, Arden • 898.9308 • Tickets: Facebook: @ArdenConcertGild • Twitter: @ArdenConcerts

Why It’s Best to Plant in the Fall

Fallis Fantastic!

Plants focus on root growth in fall, a crucial element of a plant’s success. Cooler air reduces plant stress. More rain means less work for you.

Gateway Garden Center | (302) 239-2727 • 7277 Lancaster Pike Hockessin, DE


LET THE SHOWS BEGIN continued from page 23

Photo Courtesy of Eleone Dance

CCAC again hosts a one-night-only performance of Carols in Color on Dec. 12.

CHRISTINA CULTURAL ARTS CENTER Christina honors the majesty of the holiday season with two festive performances. The first is the magnificent dance musical, Carols in Color, on Sunday, Dec. 12 at The Playhouse on Rodney Square. Now in its 30th year, Carols is performed by Philly-based Eleone Dance Theatre and is the retelling of the Gospel according to St. Matthew delivered through stunning contemporary dance and stirring narration. It is based on Black Nativity by Langston Hughes and a 1960s musical adaptation by Vinette Carrol. On Friday, Dec. 17, the entire community can enjoy the Christina Cultural Arts Center Holiday Showcase, highlighting talent in student and faculty performances alike. Christina also hosts exhibits from local visual artists each month as part of Wilmington Art Loop. 705 N. Market St., Wilmington • 652.0101 • Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @CCACDE CITY THEATER COMPANY CTC is thrilled to return to their distinct brand of “in-your-face” intimate theater and comedy improv this fall and announce a new collaborative partnership with The Delaware Contemporary! Beginning monthly September through November, Fearless Improv delivers regular shows packed with plenty of on-the-spot hilarious scenarios, games, and long-form improvisation. CTC’s fall mainstage presents the Delaware Premiere of the Tony Award– winning musical, Once (Dec.10-18), about a young Irish musician about to give up his career because his songs – about a former love – are too heartbreaking to sing. Expect staged readings of new works by regional playwrights as well as more live and virtual programs with that special “CTC-twist.” Performance venue: 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington 220-8285 • Facebook: @CityTheaterCompany Instagram/Twitter: @CityTheaterCo CLIFFORD BROWN YEAR ’ROUND This series maintains the fun and energy of Wilmington's signature jazz festival through monthly performances. Concerts this fall will be in-person or virtual depending on COVID guidelines and will feature some of the region's top jazz artists on Fri., Oct. 29, Nov. 19, and Dec. 17. Performance venue: Varying in Delaware • 576-2100 • Facebook: @cliffordbrownjazzfest

DELAWARE ART MUSEUM The Museum continues its wildly popular Copeland Sculpture Garden programs by welcoming patrons to the Korean Festival, Fri., Sept. 24, followed by Sips & Sculptures on Sat., Oct. 2, and Día de los Muertos: Walking with the Ancestors, on Sat., Oct. 30. But inside the galleries is as equally captivating, as an iconic exhibit returns after 50 years (on view Oct. 23-Jan. 23, 2022) in Afro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks. Included in this historic display is a work by renowned local artist Edward Loper, Jr. entitled, Pool Room 11th & Walnut, 1971. Music is also a part of the menu, with Arnold Hurtt & Funk Factory on Sun., Nov. 7; and Celebrate! Pyxis at the Holidays on Thur., Dec. 9. Wrapping the holidays is the Winter Arts Festival Sat., Dec. 11, where visitors can shop with regional artisans and local fare while surrounded in festive music. 2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington • 571.9590 • Facebook: @DelawareArtMuseum Twitter/Instagram: @DelArtMuseum THE DELAWARE CONTEMPORARY The Delaware Contemporary's new fall exhibition season, PRESENTATION, opens Fri., Sept. 3. The kickoff is the First Friday Event on Sept. 10 entitled, Fields and Formations: A Group Exhibition Exploring Mid-Atlantic Abstraction. The exhibit unites approximately 70 works by 12 distinguished women and non-binary artists from the Mid-Atlantic who infuse emotional and metaphorical content into abstract paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture. Next First Fri., Oct. 1, join an artist talk with Super Ngewel African curator Michael Dika and exhibitors Percussion Ensemble from The Medium is the Message: An performs on Sept. 16. African Diaspora Story, on display at the University of Delaware. All First Friday programs bring food trucks, a cash bar, and a free arty party every month. Two exclusive nights provide interactive fun for Contemporary members. Thur., Sept. 16, features Super Ngewel African Percussion Ensemble’s high-energy singing, dancing, and storytelling. Tue., Oct. 26, Haunting at the Museum with First State Improv takes guests through galleries to help ghost hunters solve a spooky mystery. 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington 656-6466 • Facebook/Instagram: @DEContemporary DELAWARE SHAKESPEARE DelShakes transforms downtown’s Rodney Square into a magical forest of love and laughter with a free production of A Midsummer Night's Dream — possibly the first full theatrical performance ever in the historic square (Sept. 16-19). One of The Bard’s most popular comedies, “Midsummer" takes audiences to an enchanted woods full of confused lovers, bumbling actors, and powerful fairies meeting to pursue their wildest dreams. An ensemble of nine actors will bring 21 characters to life, accompanied by live music composed by Arreon Harley-Emerson and Jonathan Whitney, and a chorus from The Choir School of Delaware. Join in this celebration of love and humanity! Eric Mills (pictured with Krista Apple in 2018's Much Ado About Nothing) will play the iconic Oberon. Performance venue: Varying in Delaware 468.4890 • Facebook/Instagram: @DelShakes ► SEPTEMBER 2021


Photo Courtesy of Pape Demba Paco


O&A Ad 21.qxp_FullPageBleed 8/23/21 11:08 AM Page 1

Thursday: September 17: 5PM–8PM A new annual fundraiser for the Brandywine Zoo

Celebrate the Lemurs of Madagascar at the new Lemurs & Lagers Expect amazing up close avian encounters with Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections, zookeeper animal talks, and creature features. Kids will love the art activities offered by Delaware Contemporary and play at other fun stations throughout the zoo. Lagers will be served by sponsor Bellefonte Brewing Company with contributing sponsor, Dogfish Head Brewery. Cider and mead by Liquid Alchemy Beverages and mixed drinks offered by other vendors. Food will be available for sale from local restaurants—The Society strongly supports local businesses. Free ice cream for all is provided by Hy-Point. Two drinks are included in adult admission fee. More may be purchased.

Tickets: Non Member Adults $35, Children $5 Brandywine Zoo Member Adults $30, Children FREE Children under 3 are FREE

Purchase tickets: Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington, DE • FREE PARKING The Brandywine Zoo is managed by the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, with the support of the Delaware Zoological Society.



LET THE SHOWS BEGIN continued from page 25

The DSO is thrilled to move its intimate Chamber Series to the DuPont Country Club

DELAWARE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This fall, the Delaware Symphony returns to live performances with its intimate Chamber Series in the splendid surrounds — and new venue — of the DuPont Country Club. Chamber I (Tue., Sept. 21) opens the season with associate concertmaster Luigi Mazzocchi and principal pianist Lura Johnson performing a program including Brahms and Gershwin’s Three Preludes. On Tue., Oct. 19, the Strings of the DSO take the spotlight with composer Shelly Washington’s 2016 work Middleground and a Brahms string sextet. The series culminates with Chamber III on Tue., Nov. 16, with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons featuring concertmaster David Southorn. And this fall is just a taste of what’s to come as the Classics Series returns to Copeland Hall in The Grand Opera House in the New Year. Performance venue: 818 N. Market St., Wilmington 656.7442 • Facebook: @delawaresymphony DELAWARE THEATRE COMPANY Hasan Minhaj was the host/creator of the Netflix 2018 comedy show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which explored the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity. A first-generation American, Minhaj joined The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a correspondent in 2014 and continued through August 2018. Now, he brings his unique comedic voice to the DTC stage (Sept. 9-12). Following this is Philly sports commentator Ray Didinger’s autobiographical show, Tommy and Me (Oct. 6-17), where he recounts helping his lifelong hero, Netflix and former Daily Show Philadelphia Eagles’ tough regular comedian Hasan Minhaj opens DTC's season Sept. 9. wide receiver Tommy McDonald, get into the Photo by Eric Hobbs Pro Football Hall of Fame. Finally, the musical Million Dollar Quartet (Dec. 1-19) hits the right notes, directed by DTC’s own Matt Silva and inspired by the legendary Sun Records session that brought together icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for a once-and-only jam session in December 1956. 200 Water St., Wilmington • 594.1100 • Facebook/Instagram: @DelawareTheatreCompany Twitter/Snapchat: @DelawareTheatre

Photo by Moonloop Photography


FIRST STATE BALLET THEATRE First State begins its season with free outdoor performances statewide including one Sun., Sept. 5 at Bellevue State Park in Wilmington. Then, the ballet leaps back onto the Grand Opera House stage (Oct. 8, 9 & 10) with a world premiere, one-act ballet by its favorite choreographer, Viktor Plotnikov. Next, one of its most popular events, Up Front on Market (Nov. 12, 13 & 14), highlights classical repertoire and new contemporary work. Performed in Studio 1 at The Grand, Up Front gives audiences the experience of dance in an intimate setting. Finally, join in the magical journey and Wilmington’s favorite holiday tradition as Delaware’s only professional ballet company presents The Nutcracker (Dec. 10, 11 & 12) in Copeland Hall at The Grand Opera House. Performance Venue: The Grand, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington • 658.7897 • • Tickets: Facebook/Instagram: @FirstStateBallet • Twitter: @FSBTheatre MARKET STREET MUSIC Market Street Music is excited to present a “normal” season once again, including free, weekly half-hour Thursday Noontime Concerts, running October through mid-December, and two fulllength Festival Concerts. Festival Concerts are moving to Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. this season, with a happy hour at DE.CO following each. Market Street Music presents the most diverse lineup of music in Wilmington. You can enjoy performances ranging from acoustic singer-songwriters and jazz to string quartets and choral music. Ticket prices range from free admission (Thursday Noontime Concerts) to $30 (Festival Concerts), with special pricing for students. Primary Performance Venue: First & Central Presbyterian Church, 1101 N. Market St., Wilmington • 654.5371 Facebook/Instagram: @MarketStreetMusicDE THE MUSIC SCHOOL OF DELAWARE The Music School begins the fall season with its annual Wilmington Branch Opening Night performance on Tue., Oct. 5. A Music School faculty and guest orchestra will perform under the direction of Simeone Tartaglione, with soloist Augustine Mercante, in Bach’s Cantata #54. Also on the program are Orchestral Suite #3 by Bach and Beethoven’s Symphony #8. Other season highlights include its annual Martin Luther King and Black History Tribute; Classical Café — an informal coffee-and-donuts chat about musical topics — and free monthly Open Mic Nights and Bluegrass Jams. Faculty & Friends concerts feature Music School faculty, Serafin Ensemble, and other artists throughout the year. The Music School offers more than 100 public performances annually, many free of charge, including student recitals, ensemble concerts, masterclasses, and workshops. 4101 Washington St., Wilmington 762.1132 • Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @MusicSchoolofDE OPERADELAWARE Join OperaDelaware (Oct. 7 & 8) for an abridged live performance of beloved bel canto comedy, Don Pasquale! Penny-pinching bachelor Don Pasquale wants his nephew to marry for money, but young Ernesto has other plans — he’s smitten with the lovely (but poor) widow Norina. When the lovers discover Don Pasquale’s plan to disinherit his rebellious nephew, they team up with cunning Dr. Malatesta to hatch an outrageous plan to walk down the aisle and teach Pasquale a lesson. It’s a boisterous battle of wits and wills, all set to Donizetti’s sparkling score. 4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington • 442.7807 • Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @OperaDelaware ► SEPTEMBER 2021


Di r all by ecte St the d ea m M us eu m M ar sh



AUBURN HEIGHTS INVITATIONAL “Premiering” Saturday, September 18 12:30–4:30 pm

Classic car show & garden party fundraiser benefitting educational programming at the Marshall Steam Museum Presenting sponsor: Labware Inc.


LET THE SHOWS BEGIN continued from page 27

Ring in some spirited laughs with Jane Lynch's A Swingin’ Little Christmas on Dec. 3 at The Grand.

THE PLAYHOUSE ON RODNEY SQUARE & THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE After more than 500 days, The Grand and The Playhouse on Rodney Square will reopen for public indoor performances in September, with comedian Brian Regan kicking off the season Sun., Sept. 26. Highlights of this year’s lineup include Lewis Black (Sat., Oct. 9), Postmodern Jukebox (Sat., Oct. 23), The Temptations (Wed., Oct. 27), American Idol winner Kris Allen (Sat., Nov. 13), Jane Lynch’s A Swingin’ Little Christmas (starring Kate Flannery from NBC’s The Office) (Fri., Dec. 3), Santa Saves Christmas (Sun., Dec. 5), and more! This year also brings a New Year’s Eve Concert collaboration with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, OperaDelaware, and the stunning vocal talent of Tony Awardwinner Brian Stokes Mitchell. Broadway in Wilmington opens in November with Sara Bareilles’ Waitress; followed by vibrant jukebox bio-musical SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical, the 25th anniversary edition of dance extravaganza Riverdance; and closes with a new production of the classic Fiddler on the Roof. More shows will be added as touring artists return to the road. The Grand: 818 N. Market St., Wilmington • 652.5577 Tickets: The Playhouse: 1007 N. Market St., Wilmington 888.0200 • Tickets: Facebook: @TheGrandWilmington • Facebook: @ThePlayhouseDE Twitter/Instagram: @TheGrandWilm UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE SCHOOL OF MUSIC Start the season with The University of Delaware Music Spectacular, an outdoor performance at The Freeman Arts Pavilion in Selbyville Thur., Sept. 16. Performances will span the breadth of the School of Music, featuring students and faculty of the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Chorale, Jazz Band, and the UD Fightin' Blue Hen Marching Band. Register your “pod” for free tickets at freemanarts. org. The acclaimed Calidore String Quartet — quartet-in-residence and newly appointed School of Music faculty — returns to Gore Recital Hall at the UD Roselle Center for the Arts, on Thur., Sept. 30 and Wed., Oct. 20 at 8:00 p.m. Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center for the Performing Arts, Newark • 831.2578 • Facebook: @MusicatUD • Instagram: @udschoolofmusic

WILMINGTON BALLET ACADEMY OF THE DANCE Wilmington Ballet celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, with inspiring programming to mark the occasion. On Sun., Nov. 7, the ballet hosts a vital panel discussion, "The Changing Face of the Arts," at Buttonwood School in New Castle. Artists from the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, as well as local arts executives will lead a dialogue on increased diversity in the performing arts. In the heart of the holiday season, the ballet stages the 53rd annual production of The Nutcracker at The Playhouse on Rodney Square (Dec. 17, 18, & 19). Guest artists for this iconic performance include members from the New York City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Voloshky Ukranian Dance Ensemble. 1709 Gilpin Ave., Wilmington • 655-1004 • Facebook/Instagram: @wilmingtonballet WILMINGTON DRAMA LEAGUE The Drama League comes back to life this fall, kicking off its eight-show season on Fri., Oct. 22 with the Edgar Award Winner for Best Mystery Play, The Art of Murder (Oct. 22-24). On Fri., Nov. 12 and Sat., Nov. 13, the Ruby M. Stanley One-Act Festival shines the spotlight on local playwrights’ original works and calls on audiences to select their favorite. Through December (Dec. 1029), the highly anticipated Elf – The Musical fills the stage with holiday cheer as this beloved fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. 10 W. Lea Blvd., Wilmington • 764.1172 • Facebook/Instagram: @WilmingtonDramaLeague

Photo by MJ Mac Productions


Peter & The Starcatcher produced at the Drama League. WDL's onstage action begins Oct. 22 with The Art of Murder.

CULTURAL/HISTORICAL ORGANIZATIONS BRANDYWINE ZOO Enjoy an artsy zoo weekend during the Brandywine Festival of Arts (Sat., Sept. 11 and Sun., Sept. 12). At Zippity Zoo Days, kids can create chalk art along the walks inside the zoo, and families can enjoy a special admission rate of $3/person. Later this month, party with the Madagascar lemurs (and other zoo pals) on Fri., Sept. 17 at Lemurs & Lagers. Complementing the revelry are up-close avian encounters with Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections; zookeeper talks; ice cream from Hy-Point; libations by Bellefonte Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Brewery, and Liquid Alchemy; music by Spokey Speaky; and entertainment by WSTW. Celebrate Halloween with Boo at the Zoo (Oct. 22-24), a merry (not scary) event in the wildly decorated zoo! Kids of all ages can trickor-treat throughout and visit animals. The year closes out on Fri., Dec. 31 with Noon Year's Eve, ringing in the New Year at with games, crafts, and a celebratory sparkling cider toast as the clock strikes 12 (noon)! 1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington 571.7747 • Tickets: Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @BrandywineZoo► SEPTEMBER 2021







cafe CAFÉ:

LET THE SHOWS BEGIN continued from page 29

DELAWARE HISTORICAL SOCIETY On Thur., Oct. 7, the Delaware Historical Society will honor Dr. Velma P. Scantlebury-White, the first Black woman transplant surgeon in the U.S., recently retired from Christiana Care Dr. Velma P. Scantlebury-White Transplant Program. The will be honored Oct. 7 with the Delaware History Makers Delaware History Makers Award. Award is given annually to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the quality of life in Delaware, our nation, and the world. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and live music by The Joseph Whitney Steel Band. Business attire is requested and valet parking will be provided. Both in-person and virtual tickets are available for members and non-members. 504 N. Market St., Wilmington • 655.7161 • Facebook: @dehistory • Instagram: @delawarehistoricalsociety Twitter: @thisisdehistory

Photo courtesy Christiana Care



HAGLEY MUSEUM & LIBRARY Hagley Craft Fair welcomes you to an open-air fall market on Sat., Oct. 16, and Sun., Oct. 17. This marketplace brings together Mid Atlantic–area artisans displaying and selling fine arts and crafts with works in wood, pottery, jewelry, fibers, metal, and other media, along with gourmet items in a specialty food market. Vendors are stationed throughout Hagley’s beautiful upper property as well as inside the Soda House. Then get ready for a boo-tiful weekend of tricks and treats during Halloween at Hagley, Sat., Oct. 30 and Sun., Oct. 31. Children are invited to come in costume and visit treat stations throughout the property. Trick or treat is included with admission and free for Hagley members. 298 Buck Rd., Wilmington • 658-2400 • Facebook: @HagleyMuseumandLibrary Instagram/Twitter: @hagleymuseum

Hagley Museum's October Craft Fair is the perfect place to experience the mix of local art, history, and nature. 3801 KENNETT PIKE, GREENVILLE, DE • 302.654.9941 30 SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM |

Photo by Fantail Photography.




VISIT BESTOFDE.COM For the health and safety of all attendees, guests will be required to show proof of vaccination prior to admittance. In addition, as state protocols and recommendations change, the event plan will be adjusted to ensure everyone’s safety. Visit for the latest information.




Photo by Shannon Woodloe

NANCI HERSH ART EXHIBIT – UNMASKED: PORTRAITS FROM THE ZOOM ROOM This exhibition and artist reception opens at The Mill in downtown Wilmington Wed., Nov. 17 (runs Nov. 1- Dec. 31). An ongoing series of acrylic paintings — created during the COVID-19 pandemic — Unmasked captures the faces of artists, educators, and colleagues the artist has seen every day on Zoom in her role as executive director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education. Hersh notes that the pandemic-created environment magnified the need and the power of human connectivity. 1007 N. Orange St., 4th Floor, Wilmington • Facebook: @NanciHersh.Artist • Instagram: @nancihersh


Photo by Nanci Hersh

Artist Nanci Hersh exihibits her pandemic-inspired "Zoom Room" portraits with a reception on Nov. 17.

DARA J. MEREDITH DANCE PREMIERE – THE BRIDGE OF OUR ROOTS On Fri., Sept. 17 at Delaware Theatre Company, director and choreographer Dara J. Choreographer Dara J. Meredith's powerful Meredith (Faculty Member, contemporary dance permiere Christina Cultural Arts comes to the DTC stage Sept. 17. Center; Dance Instructor, Eleone Dance Unlimited) presents The Bridge of Our Roots, a work of modern dance originally commissioned by the Delaware Art Museum with support by Art Bridges. Meredith’s creation is a soul-searching performance inspired by Southern Souvenir No. II, a riveting painting by artist Eldzier Corter, depicting the disembodied figure of Black women. In her piece, Meredith explores the complexity of Black womanhood with a multigenerational ensemble whose fluid, yet formidable movements exude tales of both sisterhood and strength. 200 Water Street, Wilmington Facebook/Instagram: @dara.j.meredith


DESTINATION YORK Brews, bikes and steam cars have this quaint village moving full speed ahead By Jill Althouse-Wood 32 SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM |


ooking for something to do to fill a few of the weekend’s leisure hours? Consider a quick car ride to Yorklyn.

What was once a once sleepy, suburban

community in Delaware, a short walk away from the curved Pennsylvania border, has become a post-COVID destination. The seeds of this renewal started a few years before the pandemic around the time John Hoffman, a Yorklyn native, saw potential in a dilapidated building on the Garrett Snuff Mill complex and set about renovating the site for his family’s microbrewery venture. “When we started looking at the area for a potential location for the brewery about eight years ago, the vibe [in Yorklyn] was very lowkey,” Hoffman admits. “Prior to a flood in the early 2000s, there was quite a lot of industrial and commercial activity. We knew the complex Dew Point Brewery's outdoor concerts have quickly become a community gathering place. Photos by Butch Comegys


had potential from the site's long history. And with the Center for the Creative Arts and the Marshall Steam Museum there, there was already a strong foundation for a vibrant community.” The building itself was a big part of the attraction. “It just screamed brewery.” Having selected the site, the Hoffman family began the hard work of transforming their vision into reality. ►



DESTINATION YORKLYN continued from previous page

Yorklyn ticked all the boxes for Rob Garrison to relocate his popular bike shop there.

Dew Point Brewery and Tasting Room opened its doors in August of 2016. And the Yorklyn establishment quickly welcomed its newest neighbor. “The neighborhood could have balked at the idea of a brewery moving next door, but it has turned out to be a wonderful experience,” says Susan Randolph, executive director for the neighboring Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights. “They have created a spot that attracts families, which in turn is good for us. Good for the whole community.” The Marshall Steam Museum, one of Yorklyn’s aforementioned established attractions, features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars. On the first Sunday of the month from June to November, the Museum hosts Steamin’ Days, which give visitors a chance to climb into an antique automobile or board one of their one-eighth-size trains and tour the surrounding property while experiencing travel as it existed at the turn of the 20th century. Though the museum is established, it is situated on Auburn Valley State Park, which happens to be Delaware’s newest State Park, inaugurated in 2018, two years after Dew Point opened its doors. The park’s new paved bike and walking trails (with more coming) are further evidence of Yorklyn’s awakening, giving people a reason to park their cars, slow their pace, and take a thoughtful inventory of the area’s natural beauty and commercial offerings. Such an inventory draws attention to other pre-existing and creative gems in Yorklyn’s portfolio. For almost four decades, The Center for Creative Arts has been providing arts enrichment to area residents in the form of classes, showcases, and summer camps. More recently, they have added a new market on the first Saturday of every month. One part farmer’s market and one part craft show, the aim of the market is to bring the community together to support local artists and food growers — with occasional musical performers and/or food trucks on hand to augment the experience. Another Yorklyn cornerstone is House Industries, a graphic design firm started in the early ‘90s. House Industries has received national attention for their inventive typefaces. Enter into evidence the giant house number (in a stencil-style font originally designed for a clock face) emblazoned two-stories-tall on the side of building the firm shares with the Yorklyn Post Office. And while House isn’t necessarily a destination, it is thrilling to 34 SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM |

see testimonials on the firm’s website from Recognizing this appeal, Garrison is celebrities such as Jimmy Kimmel and J.J. working with Bellefonte Creative to create Abrams and to consider the ripple that a free beer voucher for valued customers Yorklyn is sending out to the wider world. who are waiting for bike repairs. Asked if he Quietly, over the COVID-19 winter, sees a difference in his customer base after another business entered the Yorklyn the move, Garrison makes this observation: landscape. Garrison’s Cyclery, consistently “We are gaining customers from the listed as one of the best bike shops in Kennett Square and Newark areas. In Delaware, had a loyal following and Centerville, our customer base was North substantial business presence in Centreville. Wilmington and Greenville. We are just Garrison’s was looking to expand the down the road from the old location, so shop while simultaneously lowering their it was surprising that we are picking up overhead, but they also wanted a place customers from a larger area.” where cyclists could test the product before Dew Point owner John Hoffman (right) in the brewing Hoffman, for one, is enthusiastic room with his son Cody, who also works at the brewery. purchase and after repairs/adjustments. about the foot traffic that his new Yorklyn ticked all the boxes and then neighbor generates. “Rob and his team some. After taking time to renovate another building in the Snuff are a great group of people. They have a lot in common with all Mill complex, Garrison’s Cyclery opened across the parking lot of us who work at Dew Point, number one is that they love to from Dew Point in December 2020. see people smile.” Owner Rob Garrison was aware of the draw of craft beer for Their complementary businesses have seen a lot of healthy cyclists, many of whom planned group rides to end at breweries. cross-pollination as customers from one business wander across Though Garrison’s doesn’t facilitate group rides (it’s an insurance the parking lot to check out the other. The owners have talked thing), the new parking lot, which can accommodate 50-80 cars (up about collaborating, and with COVID restrictions lifting, it only from 25-30 car lot at their old location) is regularly packed with seems a matter of time before they capitalize on the synergy. Hop & bike-rack-laden vehicles doing just that, with Dew Point Brewing Ride, IPA anyone? ► serving as the post-ride destination.




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DESTINATION YORKLYN continued from previous page

Steamin' Days takes place at Auburn Heights the first Sunday, June-November.

Guests explore the property aboard a miniature train. Photos by Mike Cioseksma

This is only the beginning. Hoffman predicts only great things for Yorklyn in the months and years to come. Signs in front a vacant manufacturing plant announce the massive redevelopment efforts underway for Yorklyn Village, plans for which include residential, recreational, cultural, and business spaces. The scope is impressive. “Once built out, the Yorklyn Village will be a shining light as a destination location, and a great example of how to redevelop a historic area that was part of America's industrial past,” Hoffman says. But there is no time like late summer to take advantage of all that is presently great about Yorklyn. “Where else in the area can you go buy a bike, take a ride through a beautiful state park, stop at a location that houses the largest collection of working Stanley Steamers in the world, pedal a short distance to visit a community art center, and finish off your trip with a craft beer?” says Hoffman. Where indeed? — On Sat., Sept. 18, Auburn Heights will host Screen Stars, a classic car show and garden party to benefit the Marshall Steam Museum. The event will feature cars that match automobiles used in classic films such as The Graduate, American Graffiti, Animal House and Magnum P.I. For more information or tickets, visit 36 SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM |


Beating the Odds Delaware’s hospitality groups are still on the move By Pam George

ric Sugrue, the managing partner of Big Fish Restaurant Group, is not one to miss an opportunity. When Joe’s Crab Shack closed in 2020 after 17 years on the Wilmington Riverfront, the company filled the gap with Taco Grande Mexigrill + Tequila Bar. And that’s not all. In the past year, the company replaced Harvest House in Wilmington with a Rosenfeld’s Delicatessen and opened a combined Big Fish Market and Rosenfeld’s Delicatessen in the former McCabe Gourmet Market in South Bethany Beach. The restaurant group is in good company. Many multiunit operators have expanded during the pandemic. However, it’s hardly business as usual.►


Guests enjoy the patio at Taco Grande, the Big Fish Group's latest addition. Photo by Joe del Tufo SEPTEMBER 2021


The Expansion Advantage

BEATING THE ODDS continued from previous page

Why expand when the going gets tough? “We need multiple locations to support a strong management team,” explains Lee Mikles, who with Jim O’Donoghue own OMG Hospitality. They planned on multiple eateries from the day they opened Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen in Newark in 2015. Today, there are four locations, including Grain on the Rocks in Lewes, which opened in June 2020. Thus far, OMG Hospitality’s approach is working. The human resources director is a former host, and a leading general manager entered the company as a server. To be sure, staff appreciate knowing there is room to grow, Sugrue says. That’s important at a time when restaurants face severe labor shortages. During Big Fish job interviews, prospective managers often cite the opportunity for advancement as the reason they applied, he says. (The hospitality company has 18 Delaware restaurants.) Having multiple units lets a restaurant group relocate people as needed. When dining rooms were closed or had limited capacity, Forty Acres Hospitality moved people around to “keep them employed,” says Dan Sheridan, who with Rob Snowberger owns Locale BBQ Post and Stitch House Brewery. This summer, several Grain bartenders and servers moved to the busy Lewes restaurant. Owning multiple restaurants gives companies more purchasing power. “The food pricing structure will adjust … majorly once as a group you can purchase more annually,” notes Michael Stiglitz, who owns six Two Stones Pub locations. “Contracting early in the year for something like crab meat for the summer is very important because if you’re in the middle of summer and there’s a shortage, the price could double.” Granted, the groups often need to narrow their purveyor list to reap rewards. And having more restaurants means more financial clout. “We have a good relationship with our bank, and they are invested in us,” says Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, which has 12 restaurants and plans to open Matt’s Fish Camp in Fenwick Island in fall. “That was very helpful to us in the early days of the shutdown” in spring 2020.

The Right Place, Right Time

SoDel Concepts slipped into Fenwick Island after Ropewalk Signature waved goodbye. The Matt’s Fish Camp will be the third iteration in SoDel Concepts’ portfolio. Opening the same concept is a smart move when you need to move fast. “There is already a template for the business,” Kammerer says. “There are already design and menu ideas. It’s also much easier to make projections and cost, which is a huge advantage.” But launching a new idea lets chefs and managers tap their creativity, he added. Sugrue, who has various concepts, had been planning to open Taco Grande on the Wilmington Riverfront for years. When the stars did not align, he considered tabling the idea. Then Joe’s Crab 38 SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM |

Xavier Teixido’s plans for a second Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House Shack closed. Now he hopes to open more Taco Grande locations. For Sheridan and Snowberger, the closing of Scrumptious & Saloon went into a holding pattern for several reasons. He waited while Branmar Plaza’s owner played in January 2021 offered a lifeline. musical chairs with some businesses. Locale BBQ Post’s Little Italy store Walgreen’s, Branmar Liquors and only had six seats and two picnic Action Hardware all moved. benches. The bulk of the business “The landlord is preparing to was catering, which dried up during turn over the former hardware store the pandemic. Moving to Trolley space shortly, and we hope to begin Square was a no-brainer regardless construction this fall for a late spring of the circumstances. opening,” Teixido says. “The pandemic just overloaded the Well, maybe. “As you can imagine, pros on why we should move quickly schedules are really up in the air with while the opportunity was there,” material and equipment delays,” Teixido Sheridan says. “We could no longer adds. “So, while we are committed to wait for the catering business to come starting fit-out, we will be on a waitback. We needed to get into a space Guests enjoy riverfront dining at Grain on the Rocks. Photo by Matt Urban and-see as the supply chain recovers.” that would give us more foot traffic.” Javier Acuna of Hakuna Hospitality Group can relate. The pandemic hit a month into the construction Pumping the Brakes The pandemic has also slowed projects. Scott Stein and Antimo on Sante Fe Mexican Grill in the new 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue DiMeo, who own Bardea Food & Drink in downtown Wilmington, building. It wasn’t the concept’s first Wilmington location. Santa Fe were ready to greenlight Bardea Steak in early 2020. Come March, was previously in the Galleria Shoppes, which was torn down in 2017 they opted to keep their existing business afloat rather than take the to make way for the six-story luxury project. Construction on the imposing building took so long that at one plunge. The downtown steakhouse, located next door, is back in point, Acuna decided not to return. ► motion with a planned 2022 opening.



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BEATING THE ODDS “After really thinking about continued from previous page it, we decided [moving foward with the project] was good for the business,” he says. It was no easy feat. In spring 2020, cautious workers put off coming to the job, and there were equipment delays. But when the economy slowly opened, many contractors were eager to find work. “It balanced out in the end,” he says. Grain on the Rocks encountered a faltering supply chain when factories closed in March 2020. The accordion windows so critical to the opening were not available. “Even simple things took forever,” Mikles says. Unfortunately, the supply chain is still sputtering.

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Lessons Learned

For restaurant groups on the fast track, the past year has been enlightening. Grain on the Rocks and Grain H2O at the Summit North Marina were “saved” due to alfresco options, Mikles says. “I don’t think we’ll ever open another location that doesn’t have outdoor dining.” Locale’s new Trolley Square location has a generously sized courtyard, and Bardea Steak will have a four-season section and open-air features, such as a fireplace. SoDel Concepts had planned to renovate the restaurants’ outdoor areas over several years. Thanks to the pandemic, those projects got a boost. “It needed to be done immediately,” Kammerer says. Indoor space is as important as outdoor. Bardea Steak will occupy 5,000 square feet; Taco Grande is in a 9,000-squarefoot property. The new two-story Matt’s Fish Camp is much larger than its two siblings. Social distancing, if needed, won’t be a problem. Takeout, meanwhile, is no longer an afterthought. “Little details matter,” says O’Donoghue of OMG Hospitality. “I don’t think I’ve ever looked at so many to-go containers in my life.” The uptick in takeout business also prompted menu

changes; food had to travel well. As a result, Grain restaurants nixed brunch to go. “Eggs get cold too quickly,” he notes. The rising carry-out business has underscored the need for online ordering platforms. “It was invaluable to our company over the last 18 months, and, as it turns out, the guests want to keep it,” Kammerer says. Multiple units also need a cohesive point-of-sale system that helps operators make data-driven decisions, O’Donoghue says. Managers with a penchant for dark beer might sober up if they spot poor sales. Such information is invaluable when owners are not on site. “You have to trust people but give them the right tools,” Mikles says.

Facing the Future

Meanwhile, OMG’s partners plan to open a worker-friendly concept on the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research Campus. Hakuna Hospitality Group, which has six businesses, is not done exploring Central and South America for inspiration, says Acuna, who moved Pachamama Rotisserie Chicken from Newark to the Riverfront Market in Wilmington. A second Del Pez is in the works, although he declined to give the location. Big Fish plans a steakhouse on the riverfront and is building the Kennett Square Oyster House on Route 1. Next year, expect

A rendering of SoDel Concept's two-story Matt's Fish Camp.

to see Big Fish Market and Rosenfeld’s Delicatessen in Goat Kitchen’s former home in North Wilmington. And at the beach, SoDel Concepts has started construction on Ocean View Brewing Company. Expect to see more of the same — a second Kid’s, hopefully — and despite the extra work, new concepts. As Sheridan puts it: “Keeps us from getting bored, I suppose.”

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Racing Forward

Delaware Park President Bill Fasy inside 1937 Brewing Company.

1937 Brewing is Delaware Park’s latest effort to provide one-stop entertainment

Photos by Butch Comegys

By Matt Morrissette


ounded in 1937, Delaware Park, located just outside of the Wilmington city limits in Stanton, began as a thoroughbred horse racetrack designed and built by William J. duPont, Jr. in partnership with businessman Donald P. Ross. Over its rich history, DelPark (as Delaware natives know it) has been home to the career debuts of Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, nearTriple Crown winner, Afleet Alex, and other horses of note. Nearly a century later, the park still occupies a hallowed place in equine history. In more recent times, DelPark has evolved into a full-blown entertainment complex, boasting a casino added in 1994 when the Delaware legislature legalized slots; a host of eateries running the gamut from bar and grill to fine dining; and a world-class golf course in the form of White Clay Creek Country Club, built by Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest & Associates in 2005. Betting on National Football League games became legal in Delaware in 2009, and DelPark began offering betting on parlay cards featuring multiple teams. The law was expanded in 2018, allowing for single-game and parlay betting on all professional and college sports (excluding Delaware college teams). And in 2010, another gambling law allowed the park to offer table games including blackjack, craps, roulette, 21, and various poker games, as well as keno. ► SEPTEMBER 2021




85 Years!

RACING FORWARD continued from previous page

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Though these changes and additions have kept the park thriving and growing, DelPark has concentrated its efforts over the last few years on shaking the common idea that casinos are primarily the province of the elderly and retired. At the center of the park’s new offerings has been taking advantage of Delaware’s ongoing craft beer explosion and the younger, hipper demographic that comes with it. In the planning since 2018 and delayed by the pandemic, 1937 Brewing Company opened in the summer of 2021. Occupying the spaces that formerly housed the High Roller Pit and HOPS Bar, 1937 offers eight to 10 house-brewed beers on tap, gastropub-style cuisine, craft cocktails, and Stage ‘37, a venue offering free musical entertainment. Delaware Park President Bill Fasy explains the reasoning behind adding an on-site craft brewery to the park’s amenities. “We strive to offer a variety of entertainment options and based on the continued popularity of craft beers, we felt this was a natural addition,” says Fasy. “I believe being a one-stop entertainment venue is what separates us from our competitors. “The craft beer evolution also attracts younger and more affluent customers, which is something our industry is struggling to capture. Our mission as a company is to ‘Create an Escape,’ so everyone can relax and enjoy all of the multifaceted offerings, which in turn, breeds repetitive habits and brand loyalty.” As with any brewery, the most important thing is the beer, and Fasy is excited about what they have to offer. “It was a basic collaboration between guest feedback, our food and beverage management team and Brad Adelson, our brewmaster,” says Fasy. “We wanted to stand apart from the area breweries, but also offer some consistent favorites so the casual beer drinker could enjoy their time with us, too. “Seasonality plays a big part in the brewing process, and I foresee a pumpkin ale in the fall and maybe a richer stout in the colder months. The Legal Lite lager (named for the first horse to win at Delaware Park) is one of our staples. Because of the uniqueness, the Watermelon Kicker seems to be a top favorite, and it is really light and refreshing.” According to Fasy, DelPark’s gamble on craft beer appears to be paying off as regular customers seem excited and engaged by the new food and beer offerings, and there’s been a clear uptick in the number of customers in their 20s and 30s.

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Delaware Park chef Veronica Ingiosi now has her own beer to serve with the restaurant's gourmet pizza.

He credits this to good old-fashioned positive word of mouth and the marketing department’s smart efforts at social media engagement on the Untappd and Instagram applications. Another method that Delaware Park uses to reach out to new patrons is special events, and none are bigger than the biannual Beers & Gears Craft Beer Festival and Car Show. The free and familyfriendly event features trophies for cars in all categories, live DJs, food trucks, and of course, a huge variety of craft beers on tap. The fall edition takes place on Sunday, October 24 (rain date: Oct. 31). According to Fasy, the events are crucial to bringing new people into the park and exposing them to the variety of entertainment options available. “These special events are ways we can attract a diverse population to our property and discover the varied experiences we can offer,” he says. “Guests can enjoy a family picnic in our paddock-side Grove, dancing at Stage '37, a quick bet in the Sports Book, and let's not forget golf at White Clay Creek Country Club. It is really cool when someone stops me to say that they didn't know we had this or that here!" As the only thoroughbred horse racing track in the history of Delaware, Delaware Park’s legacy as a local landmark is undeniable, but it’s the park’s continued evolution that makes it such a vibrant asset for residents of the state. And in a state rapidly becoming known for its craft beer scene, it’s only fitting that a brewery be added to Delaware Park’s seemingly endless list of things to do.

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DRINK Liquid Alchemy co-founders Jeffrey "Doc" Cheskin and Terri Sorantino. Photos by John Vari



Liquid Alchemy’s founders haven’t struck gold with their venture, but they’ve prospered over five years and the future looks bright


e hope to create a completely different experience,” co-founder Terri Sorantino said about Liquid Alchemy Beverages, the craft mead and hard cider maker based southwest of Wilmington. That’s why the tasting room has so much stuff showcasing brewing history, a belief that alchemy is transformative and pop culture — including vintage bottles and equipment, hand-crafted drinking horns, a Viking helmet that’s really an ice bucket, a toaster shaped like Darth Vader and a cow-jumpingover-the-moon cookie jar. Plus, “a lot of guests bring us things that they want to live here,” she said. “We have a lot of alchemy here,” co-founder Jeffrey “Doc” Cheskin said of the ever-changing, floor-to-ceiling décor. “Things aren’t what they seem.” Twenty or so tables outdoors, some in an open garage, continue their eclectic style. That scene, with patio heaters providing multi-season comfort, is enhanced with old signs and a dog toilet featuring an old Wilmington fire hydrant donated by a city firefighter. The people toilets inside offer their own whimsies, including steampunk fixtures and pop art. The memorable look accompanies memorable beverages. Liquid Alchemy has earned gold medals from what they called all three of the nation’s mead trade groups (Mead Free or Die, the Texas Mead Cup and the Mazer Cup) and in 2019 was named meadery of the year by Mead Free or Die. ►

By Ken Mammarella



MEAD MAGIC continued from previous page

A few of Liquid Alchemy's medal-winning creations.

Liquid Alchemy was born during a 2012 vacation when Sorantino and Cheskin were blown away by the Lavender Lemonade mead from Maine Mead Works. By the end of 2012, they had incorporated. They dedicated all their retirement savings to it, which included buying and refurbishing a building from Hurlock Roofing; scouring the country for supplies and equipment; testing recipes with friends; and scoring, making and commissioning those nifty decorative items. They opened Sept. 10, 2016. “It’s our first child together,” said Cheskin, who is now engaged to Sorantino. They have five children from their previous marriages. A few numbers illustrate their success. In 2016, they brewed about 500 gallons of mead and hard cider; in 2020, they brewed about 6,000 gallons. And they’re looking for a second location. Mead starts with honey, and cider starts with pressed apples. Mead is associated with Vikings, as points out. Hard cider is associated with Colonial America. Liquid Alchemy has modernized both. Some styles add water, yeast and mechanical carbonation. Flavorings are preferably locally sourced but never include extracts, concentrates, processed sugar, artificial flavors, artificial colors or gluten. Products run 6 to 19% alcohol by volume. “Hard cider seems to have the edge and is at least pretty popular in regular drinking culture at the moment (and growing),” Cheskin said. “Craft mead is the wild horse by the range and reaction of people [and] has incredible potential. … The younger drinkers are liking the meads. [It] might 48 SEPTEMBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM |

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take a while, but craft mead is definitely in our future.” The number of meaderies has quadrupled in the last nine years, Wine Enthusiast reported this year, citing Investment Weekly News for valuing the global mead market at more than $400 million in 2018 and projecting it to top $800 million by 2025. How many styles has Liquid Alchemy developed? “You mean good and bad?” Sorantino asked before estimating nearly 100. Some recipes are both. Their popular Magenta Dragon cider became the sour Pink Pickle Power when fermented too long. Fermented even longer it became the enjoyable Invisible Dragon. Liquid Alchemy supports other local entrepreneurs by showcasing their products, including Hope’s Caramels, Hurley’s Happy Place soaps, Musings Fermentation Underground kombucha (ideal for someone in a group avoiding alcohol) and Woodside Creamery ice cream, plus recurring food trucks, entertainers and artists. Cheskin, 57, and Sorantino, 55, continue their day jobs, as physician and office manager at Cheskin Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Stanton. At Liquid Alchemy, they have nine parttime employees and usually work every day there, with tennis games on Sunday evenings their biggest bit of fun. — Liquid Alchemy, 28 Brookside Drive, Wilmington, is open 4-9 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 2-9 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

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he Wilmington Police Department’s Learn to Ride bicycle training program, a popular community initiative suspended since last year due to COVID-19, kicked-off Aug. 11 at a Chase Fieldhouse even that included the donation of bicycles to 15 City youth by JPMorgan Chase. The Learn to Ride program, held monthly, involves police officers providing safety lessons for children learning how to ride a bicycle. The free program is hosted in the gym of the Police Athletic League of Wilmington, at 3707 N. Market St. To learn more about the WPD Learn to Ride program, visit the City of Wilmington website. Space is limited and preregistration is required. Any questions can be directed to Sgt. Michael Coleman of the WPD Special Operations Division, at

Mayor Purzycki meets with kids a the Learn to Ride kickoff event at the Chase Fieldhouse.



ayor Mike Purzycki and Fire Chief John M. Looney welcomed 25 new firefighters to the Wilm. Fire Dept. during a public graduation ceremony on July 17 at Abessinio Stadium. The ceremony included for the first time the graduation of probationary firefighters from nearby Chester (Pa.) and Upper Darby (Pa.) Fire Depts. In all, 40 firefighters graduated from the 41st Wilmington Fire Academy, which occurred during the 100th anniversary year of the WFD. These included 10 from the City of Chester and five from Upper Darby. Mayor Purzycki congratulated the recruits as they begin their career while also acknowledging their families. In honoring the memory of late Battalion Chief Mike Schaal (Ret.), who died July 8, the Mayor told the graduates “you are not entering a profession or a department as much as you are entering a family joined by your aspirations to help others and bound together by the shared challenges and heroism of your chosen profession.”


The 41st Wilmington Fire Academy graduation ceremony at Abessinio Stadium.


YCD youth employees express their appreciation to Bank of America



he 2021 Youth Career Development (YCD) Program’s summer session, presented in partnership with the Delaware Dept. of Labor and through the generous support of a $100K Bank of America grant, ended in August. Said Mayor Mike Purzycki, “Bank of America has again demonstrated its commitment to our City and its children and youth by enabling us to bring more young people into

this program. Many thanks also to Ian Smith and YCD Division Manager Nicole Adams and the Parks and Rec team for their ongoing efforts to assist our youth.” To be eligible for the Youth Career Development Program, participants must be 14 - 21 years old, complete the online/mobile phone registration, meet residency and job-eligibility requirements, pass background checks and drug screenings, and arrange for direct deposit of their paychecks.



ilmington dedicated a new $339,000 playground in Kirkwood Park on East 11th St.—a project funded jointly by the City, State, and Christina School District. The improvements to Kirkwood Park are part of the City’s multiple-year and multi-million-dollar park enhancements program intended to make all City parks more attractive and enjoyable for residents. The new Kirkwood Park playground boasts several features that promote childhood literacy, including a Custom Reading Shade section for public storybook readings and talking point panels developed by Too Small to Fail, a Clinton Foundation organization that promotes early brain and language development. It also features a variety of safe, age-appropriate and ability appropriate play equipment.

Stubbs children join Mayor Purzycki, Governor Carney, and other officials to cut the ribbon on the new Kirkwood Park Playground.



he hugely successful 34th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival returned to a newly renovated Rodney Square for five days of terrific music in August. “This may have been the best festival ever,” said Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz, “and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.” Terell Stafford and Jazzmeia Horn entertain the crowd in Rodney Square on Day One of the Clifford Brown Jazz Fest.





Get out, enjoy nature, and dine from some of your favorite restaurants! The Riverfront is a perfect venue to enjoy the outdoors and walk our 1.75 mile Riverwalk along the beautiful Christina River! Additionally, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is now open to the public. DEEC’s nature trails, including the eight-mile Jack A. Markell Trail continues to be fully operational! Get out and enjoy some quality time in nature!

Water Attractions on the Riverfront! Delaware Cruises:

Offering Public & Private Boat Cruises on the Christina River! Paradise Tiki Tours provides a tropical atmosphere with an authentic palm thatched canopy, tiki lighting, music, and an island-inspired cocktail menu. Info and booking can be found at

• Weekly Tours • Happy Hour Cruises • Private Charters Schedules & Info: • 302-414-819 • 855-720-TIKI


25th Anniversary In 1995, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware was created to oversee the growth and restoration of the public and private land surrounding the Christina River. Formally home to shipbuilding and industrial centers, the land had become deserted and largely unusable. Thus, RDC began the process of rehabbing the landscape and working with local and regional developers to revitalize the area. Now, celebrating our 25th anniversary, Riverfront Wilmington has become one of the area’s most vibrant and exciting destinations to live, play, and work. Once a largely abandoned shipyard, the riverfront is now teeming with residences, hotels, restaurants and indoor and outdoor attractions. As we enter our 26th year — and look beyond — the Riverfront Development Corporation is thrilled to continue the expansion of the Riverfront area as we move to the east side of the river. We can’t wait to celebrate everything Riverfront Wilmington has to offer with you all year long!


MON-FRI: 9AM-6PM SAT: 9AM-4PM Stop in and enjoy fresh produce, salads, sandwiches, coffee, pizza, sushi, Mexican,Thai cuisine and much more!

The Riverfront Market


for in-house indoor and outdoor dining

Banks Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill

Riverfront Bakery

Ciro Food & Drink

River Rock Kitchen



Del Pez

Taco Grande - NEW!

at the Riverfront Market!


The Juice Joint

Pachamama Peruvian Rotisserie Serena’s Soulfood

Drop Squad Kitchen

Timothy’s on the Riverfront

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Ubon Thai

Dine-in or carry out NOW OPEN



Welcome Back!

The DCM is reopen to the public!

Visit our website for Summer hours, pricing, and safety protocols! /Delawarechildrensmuseum



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