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The Pines set for spring 2018 opening

Restaurant looks to enhance Baltimore Avenue
October 19, 2017

Standing in the batter’s box facing professional pitching would be stressful for most people, but for Tyler Townsend, that’s nothing compared to opening his first restaurant.

“I think it’s kind of sinking in that it’s actually happening,” he said. “The most excited I’ll be was on draft day. This is a close second.”

A native of Rehoboth, Townsend was a star baseball player at Cape Henlopen High School before being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft. He played four seasons in the Orioles organization before injuries forced him to retire prior to the 2014 season. He went back to school to learn the hospitality business and then interned and took a job with SoDel Concepts, where he gained first-hand knowledge of the business. He’s currently the bar manager at SoDel’s Bluecoast Rehoboth location.

With SoDel, he also met business partner Bob Suppies, and the duo are now ready to strike out on their own with The Pines, due to open in spring 2018.

Townsend said The Pines will be an upscale, coastal tavern that pays homage to old Rehoboth.

“We want to do a modern twist on a vintage style,” he said. “Just create a fun atmosphere, have great food at moderate prices and sort of remember what the town used to be and enjoy what it is today.”

Besides his work at SoDel, Townsend’s family owned restaurants when he was growing up, as did Suppies.

“It’s been a lifelong dream to own a restaurant,” Suppies said. “To create an atmosphere, an environment, where people can have good food and drinks and have fun.”

He said he hoped The Pines could keep Baltimore Avenue alive and thriving.

“It’s such a beautiful street,” Suppies said. He has been a full-time resident of Rehoboth for the past four years, although he has been coming since 1997.

Townsend described the menu as “chef-inspired tavern food.”

“Really good burgers, fried chicken, that sort of stuff. We want to make a place where you try something new every time you come in,” he said.

Townsend and Suppies are planning a large scale interior renovation of the former Hobo’s space, which has sat vacant for a year. Among other things, they plan to enlarge dining room to have 100 to 120 seats with a bar area.

“This was the best fit for the idea we wanted to do,” Townsend said. “It was just a great location.”

“I think sometimes when you look at the building you think we’re starting from scratch,” Suppies said. “But it’s exciting. It’s fun and we really have a clean palette. It’s very modern, clean lines, easy colors, very warm.”

As for the name, Townsend said they took it from tree-lined, northern Rehoboth neighborhood commonly referred to as The Pines.

“I lived on Sussex Street for a couple of years,” he said. “We came across this old postcard from the 1920s that said, ‘Where the pine trees meet the ocean.’ I loved the name The Pines. It just kind of fit.”

Townsend continued, “I want it to be a place that we’re proud of and give back to the community.”

Townsend and Suppies took part in their first community event at the CAMP Rehoboth Block Party Oct. 15.

Suppies said pictures during construction and updates on the restaurant’s progress can be found on The Pines’ social media feeds. For more information on The Pines, visit thepinesrb.com or visit facebook.com/thepinesrb.

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