Starboard Restaurant & Bar

/ Updated on October 9, 2020

My first review of The Starboard (party central in Dewey Beach) was in 2008. Of course I've done lots of updates since then, but several recent visits prompted me to just write a new one. The Starboard is an interesting place. It has a long history in Dewey Beach, dating back to the early ‘60s when Duke Duggan’s Last Resort Bar was less than a quarter of the size of the present restaurant. Duke served spaghetti and meatballs to the patrons, and late-night wintertime singalongs with Dewey and Rehoboth locals were not unusual.

The evolution of The Starboard can be summed up in just a few words: “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Addition after addition was built as the popular tavern began to catch on. Former owners Luther and Chip Hearn's Bloody Mary Bar and the growing assortment of hot sauces were a hit: “I had lines for breakfast on Sundays,” crows the bigger-than-life Chip Hearn, “and I had to decide what to do with them, so I decided to let them make their own Bloody Marys. It went from a happy breakfast to a loud and very happy breakfast!” The Hearn’s fiery collection took on a life of its own as the famed Peppers hot sauce outlet was acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1999 they sold The Starboard to a trio of restaurant partners. One of those is Steve “Monty” Montgomery, a self-described “12-year-old kid who worked on the beach,” selling hot dogs on the sand and renting out umbrellas.

Partner Jim Weisgerber spends much of his time at Bethany Blues crankin’ out smoky barbecue. Co-partner Dick Heidenberger also watches over Dickie's Frozen Custard (delicious!), Mango's in Bethany Beach and other ventures. It's a rare night at The Starboard when Monty Montgomery can't be found darting from bar to bar, greeting customers and making sure all is well.

A 1997 newspaper observed the passing of founder Duke Duggan by showing him at the pearly gates, suitcases in hand. One angelic gatekeeper says the other, “…I have a feeling this joint’s about to start jumpin’!” For over half a century, The Starboard has never stopped jumpin’.

I hope you didn't mind that bit of history. Restaurant history is a big deal here at the beach, and if you live here or visit regularly, it pays to know who did what, where and when.

The Starboard seems to have an endless parade of bars. Everywhere you look there's a bar. As party central, they are ready for the in-season onslaught when lines can extend up to a full block away. The Starboard is also home to several huge fundraisers, including the annual Running of the Bull and the Gugie Run to benefit breast cancer. St. Paddy's Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day take on lives of their own.

But Monty has made sure that there's more than just booze. Breakfasts are legendary at The Starboard, and summertime lines can be long, but worth it. Huge omelets join forces with various breakfast meats (including scrapple, of course … this IS Delaware, after all). Breakfast platters include heaping stacks of homefries, pancakes and other breakfast platters. “Hair of the Dog…” takes new meanings, as bloody marys are still the morning mainstay at The Starboard. If this seems unusual to you, you obviously haven't spent enough time in Dewey Beach. See some of the breakfast dishes in the gallery.

Lunches and dinners include a long list of made-to-order appetizers. Some of our pick hits include the cheesesteak eggrolls, Monty's own Jerk Chicken, the Dewey Elvis Sliders complete with Velveeta and jalapeno slaw, and “Sands Tots.” (Go. Read the menu. The back story will be clear.) Salads and sandwiches dominate the menu, and one of the stars of the salad show is the Jerked Cobb. True to its name, it's a huge cobb salad decorated with The Starboard's famous jerked chicken.

My favorite sandwich on the menu is the cheesesteak. The meat is thinly sliced and grilled to a dark, savory brown. In true Philly tradition, it's served “Wit' Wiz”-style (but it's Velveeta, not Cheeze Wiz). Take a look at it in the gallery. You also don't want to miss the Classic BLT. You're at the beach, and burgers are one of the basic food groups. I have tried and tried to decide which is my favorite, but they are all so different and unique that I can't decide on just one. I suggest you add nights to your vacation here and try them all. The one with an egg on top is in the gallery. Scroll through and take a look.

In addition to being party central, The Starboard is also Entertainment Central in Dewey Beach. Some of the best show bands in the area perform on their fully professional stage. If you scroll through the photo gallery you'll see a few recent photos of The Amish Outlaws, a popular band that frequents the Starboard.

This place needs to be seen to be fully experienced. Check it out. The Starboard is open 7 days in season for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late nite and dancing. In the off-season, a smaller area, The Shark Tank is open weekends for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Starboard is at 2009 DE-1 (Coastal Highway) in Dewey. (302) 227-4600. See their extensive website HERE. Follow The Starboard on Facebook HERE.

The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

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  1. Avatar Denise says:

    Love this place! We know we’ve arrived to our vacation when we see that shark.

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