Louie’s Pizza, “Home of the Grinder,” is one of the few places in Rehoboth Beach that’s been around about as long as the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the old timers out there might remember Louie Gouvas’ uncle who owned George’s Lunch next door where Louie worked back when the Carlton Hotel wasn’t a T-shirt shop, Grotto had only one location, The Avenue served pancakes and the Bellmoor Inn was the Dinner Bell. The same family has owned Louie’s for umpteen-many years and they take the place very seriously. Dad (the original Louie) can be seen riding his bike around town smiling and waving at deserving locals. He is now back at the restaurant after some health problems. If you’re lucky, you will see Tim and/or Tony pretty much any day doing what they have always done: manning the counter or prepping food behind the counter, just like old times.
You can buy Louie’s pizzas in small, large and as slices. There is nothing quite like standing on the Boardwalk and chomping on a Louie’s slice – especially if it has pepperoni on it! Their pizza is one of the closest I’ve had to the brick-oven pizzas in New York City. Though Louie’s uses a standard conveyor oven, the pepperoni topping still gets crispy and crunchy, and the crust crackles when you bite into it. Nirvana! If you order a slice, they run it back through the oven and all the crispiness comes back. ALWAYS let them run it back through the oven. That’s what a Louie’s slice is all about.
Louie’s Pizza1/14 The iconic sign.2/14 Louie’s Pizza3/14 The smiling Tim dolin’ out pies, subs and fries.4/14 The guy who started it all: Louie Gouvas.5/14 NOW do you remember George’s Lunch? Sign courtesy RB Museum.6/14 Made by the boss himself!7/14 Louie’s Pizza8/14 Louie’s Pizza9/14 Louie’s Pizza10/14 Louie’s Pizza11/14 Louie’s Pizza12/14 Louie’s Pizza13/14 Louie’s Pizza14/14
A grinder is New England parlance for a sub that’s toasted. Louie’s cheesesteak (and all the variations) is layered with cheese and run through that magic oven. The bread toasts and adds a great texture and mouth-feel to the sandwich. I have never met a piece of slightly burned cheese that I didn’t like. They don’t skimp on the ingredients and the sub…oops, I mean “grinder”… always satisfies. Order the fries well-done. I also ask them to push my pizza back on the belt a little bit to give the cheese, pepperoni and crust a little more crunch.
Like any storefront place that close to the boardwalk, Louie’s can get very busy and noisy in the summer, but it’s all part of the experience. And if you just can’t take the hustle and bustle in the sitting area, get the slices or order your goodies to consume on one of the big benches on the Boardwalk. Yes, there was a period in time when Louie had health problems and the quality of food and service at Louie’s slipped. But Louie is back on his bike, and his son Tony is back in the saddle with the always affable Tim. So if you had a bad experience there in 2014 or 2015, read Tony’s response below to the now-outdated negative reviews, some of which were so old that I removed them. It is well-thought-out and should reignite your love for their tasty pizzas.
The dining area has been redecorated with old Rehoboth and Louie’s memorabilia, and things have been streamlined in the ordering department. Scroll through the gallery to see some of these amazing old photos of Louie’s uncle’s famous George’s Lunch. Lots of history.
Louie’s Pizza is located at 11 Rehoboth Avenue, on the north side of the street, just a couple of doors down from the huge “Dolle’s” sign. Call 302-227-6002 and Tim or Tony will have your order ready when you get there. Click here to see the pizza menu at Louie’s (unfortunately, it’s a download). They also have a mobile version you can download here. (L., D.) Price Range: Inexpensive -.
Listen to Tim Gouvas talk on the Sip & Bite Show about all the changes for 2016, along with a lot of great Rehoboth history.