Dewey Beach Club (was) back! But as of March 2018, Jeff Treacy has rebranded and reinvented it as Mez-Cali!
In April 2016, local bartender Jeff Treacy and his dad Tom endowed their brand new eatery with the venerable name: Dewey Beach Club. (A BIT OF HISTORY: It’s a rare fan of the proverbial Dewey Beach Way of Life who doesn’t remember Bill and Theresa Sponaugle’s Dewey Beach Club – the southernmost watering hole in Dewey. The late Marvin Guberman and his wife Suzi were originally set to open the restaurant in 1989, but when Marvin was injured in a car accident, the Sponaugles stepped in and made Dewey Beach Club a go-to hangout for 20 years. Marvin passed away in August of last year. Bill and Theresa sold the business to Mitch King, who finally settled on the name Port Dewey; paying homage to The Starboard, the building owner’s landmark restaurant on the opposite side of Dewey Beach. You boaters out there will get it (assume you are looking at Dewey from the Atlantic side). Last year, Starboard partner and Dewey Beach native Steve “Monty” Montgomery sold the Port Dewey building to Harrisburg, Pa. natives Tom and Jeff Treacy.)
Jeff’s love of tequila and the fun of reinventing himself won over, and Mez-Cali is now up and running! Jeff and his family have lots of restaurant experience and the cozy spot pays homage to Mexcal, tequila and small plates with a Mexican accent.
The newly remodeled restaurant is austere, simple and uncomplicated. As I mentioned before, most of the inner walls are gone, leaving a spacious and bright space, enhanced by several brand new windows Jeff had installed. The bar is less cluttered than before, with about 6 pull handles for drafts, and a top shelf loaded with a variety of mezcals.
Honey Sriracha Wings1/9 Mez-Cali Taqueria & Mezcal Bar2/9 Mez-Cali Taqueria & Mezcal Bar3/9 Chunky Guac4/9 The Agave Smash5/9 Salt & Pepper Shrimp6/9 Rojo and Verde Salsas7/9 Tacos Al Pastore8/9 Mez-Cali Taqueria & Mezcal Bar9/9
The menu is divided into several sections. Apertivos include Shrimp & Grits, a Tlayuda taco (10-inch corn tortilla with pork belly) and the Honey Sriracha Wings. I ordered them extra crispy and they were perfect. All in all, there are 10 apps on the menu as of this writing. Both the red (roja) and green (verda) salsas are quite good, and the verde has a nice spicy kick to it. I like to slather it on my Al Pastor tacos!
Speaking of tacos, seven tavos grace the center of the menu. On our first visit we had the Al Pastor (pork and pineapple) and the Coconut Shrimp. Both were quite good. I like the unusually thin corn tortillas that don’t overwhelm you with corn taste or make chewing a rubbery experience. I hope Jeff keeps these ultra-thin little gems. They make all the tacos very manageable.
Entrees as of the opening consist of a burger with manchego and serrano ham. It is appropriately called the Spaniard Burger. There’s a burrito bowl with your choice of pork belly, sweet potato or scallops. You may add guac for a small upcharge. Speaking of guac, I especially love the “rustic” guac preparation. There are chunks of avocado that make for a nice mouth feel. I’m sick of food-processor guac (a popular restaurant shortcut) that feels like green may in your mouth. Nice job, Jeff. Keep up the chunky theme!
Sides consist og garlic parm fried, the ubiquitous brussel sprouts and honey-chili glazed carrots.
One of the stars of the drink menu is their Mexcalarita: Mezcal, fresh lime, lemon juice and agave. And you can order it spicy! Four other mezcal cocktails round out the mezcal offerings.
We plan to return soon to get more pics and try out more of the cocktails, so keep an eye on this page for updates soon to come!
Mez=Cali is located in the old Dewey Beach Club/ Port location at the south end of Dewey Beach, bayside as 1205 Coastal Highway. Call to check on their hours: (302) 260-9017