Cape Gazette

Dogfish Head purchases Finbar's

Former owner: It was the right time
By Ryan Mavity | Dec 31, 2013
Photo by: Ron MacArthur Finbar's Pub and Grill has been sold to its next-door neighbor, Dogfish Head. Finbar's owners Mark Grabowski and Jim Paslawski said the time was right for them to sell the restaurant after nearly a decade of ownership.

Rehoboth Beach — Dogfish Head has purchased its Rehoboth Beach next-door neighbor, Finbar’s Pub and Grill.

Finbar’s co-owner Mark Grabowski said the sale was finalized Dec. 30.

“Everything aligned itself,” he said of the sale. “It was the right time.”

Grabowski said he and partner Jim Paslawski had been in conversations with Dogfish’s Sam and Mariah Calagione for the better part of three years about selling, but decided now was the right time and right price to sell. Grabowski said the sale was conducted between the two parties privately and that he was not at liberty to disclose the sale price.

Dogfish founder Sam Calagione said, “The owners approached us a few months ago to let us know they were interested in selling.  Considering its proximity to our brewpub we thought it was a good decision to purchase the building.”

Calagione said Dogfish is studying what it can do with the building and that it was too early to tell what the future plans may be.

“We have a number of sizable projects already in motion.  The Milton brewery expansion project is almost complete.  The reconstruction for the Dogfish Inn in Lewes is just beginning.  So this Rehoboth project will start as an internal study for a couple of months before we know what the evolution of that space will be,” he said.

Grabowski and Paslawski owned Finbar’s for nearly a decade; they have also previously owned Blue Plate diner in Lewes. Two years ago, Finbar’s relocated the bar and later installed more beer taps. Grabowski said last year was Finbar’s best year ever. However, both owners were ready for a change.

“When you’ve been doing the same thing for eight years, it was time to create something else,” Grabowski said. "Most people switch houses every seven years. I guess business people do the same.”

Grabowski said Finbar’s is still one of the nicest restaurants in town with good employees, customers and vendors. Grabowski said he and Paslawski plan to stay in Rehoboth and are already planning a new business venture in town, although he declined to say what that venture is.

“We love Rehoboth,” he said.

Calagione said of the purchase: “We are proud that our Rehoboth brewpub location has been an important part of the Rehoboth community and economy for over 18 years.  We have deep roots in Rehoboth and with this purchase our roots will grow even deeper.”

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