Freddie Lutz, the owner of the Arlington-based Freddie’s Beach Bar, has acquired space for a new bar in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and plans to open the location for business this summer.
Lutz told Metro Weekly in an interview that the location previously housed The Pond Bar & Grill, which recently moved from its downtown location to the former site of the now-closed TGI Fridays restaurant, in The Shops at Sea Coast Plaza, on Route 1. Formerly known as the Frogg Pond Tavern, the bar has been in operation since 1982 according to the Salisbury Daily Times.
Lutz says he hopes to open the new Freddie’s Rehoboth location in time for Memorial Day Weekend, but notes that the process of obtaining the proper permits will take some time.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed,” Lutz said. “We’re already in there painting everything purple and transforming it into a Freddie’s Beach Bar like the one in Crystal City.”
Lutz says the prospect of a second Freddie’s has been “embraced” by the local community, whose response has been “amazing” and “very welcoming.”
“I’ve been looking into opening a second Freddie’s for a few months now. And I’ve been thinking about doing a Freddie’s Beach Bar in Rehoboth for over 20 years,” Lutz says. “I’ve been looking at different locations over the years, and for one reason or another nothing seemed to be the right fit. And when this space came up, I thought, ‘It’s perfect.’ It’s got kind of a Freddie’s feel to it already.”
Lutz says patrons familiar with the Arlington Freddie’s will be comforted by the similarities in the Rehoboth location, promising to offer “glitter and glitz, and a fun, fabulous atmosphere” along with karaoke, drag, and great food. And of course, no Freddie’s establishment would be complete without the bar’s trademark purple decor and plastic pink flamingos, as well as walls plastered with various “found” items and dolls.
“I’ve been thinking about this for over 20 years, so I have an attic full of Barbies I’ve been collecting,” Lutz says. “And you know, in Freddie’s, we have a sort of collage of ‘junk’ on the walls, and I’ve been collecting wooden pieces to make that happen down at Rehoboth. My partner, Johnny, calls me Fred Sanford” — a reference to the title character in the 1970s comedy Sanford and Son — “because I’m always going through people’s trash looking for junk.”
Lutz is excited to begin realizing his dream of opening a beach bar in an actual beach town.
“There was a doubt in my mind about whether this would ever happen,” he says. “I’m no spring chicken, I’m not getting any younger, but it was a dream of mine. So I was hoping it would happen.”
He’s also hopeful that a more effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic by federal and state authorities will make the possibility of a Memorial Day opening — and hopefully, the larger crowds that typically should accompany it — more likely.
“The timing looks good, because by the time we get everything painted, I think things will be looking a little better, judging from the way the vaccines are rolling out and everything,” he says.
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