Rehoboth Beach in Delaware just got even gayer thanks to this new bar

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The exterior and interior of the new Freddie's Beach Bar in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
The exterior and interior of the new Freddie’s Beach Bar in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (Photos: Supplied)

A beloved gay bar and restaurant in Arlington, Virginia has just expanded its operations into Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Freddie’s Beach Bar, owned by Freddie Lutz, first opened in Arlington in 2001. It’s that area’s only LGBTQ hangout.

The business has just launched its second venue, with Freddie’s Beach Bar finally finding itself a true beachside location a block from the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.

The second site is located at 3 South First Street (the premises formerly occupied by The Pond Bar and Grill).

Bringing a little camp to Rehoboth Beach

Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington is known for its camp and kitsch interior, with lots of pink and purple fittings, including plastic flamingos and Barbie dolls.


“The concept really grew out of a small travel trailer that I had in Sea Air Village, which is in Rehoboth,” Lutz [pictured above], told the Cape Gazette. “I built a little courtyard out back, and I had a tiki bar out there with lights and an ice machine and a service bar.

“And then I had junk on the walls, like in both Freddie’s locations, and it was the same colors and hot pink furniture [inside].

“Twenty years later, sitting in Freddie’s in Crystal City, I thought, ‘What is this beach missing? I know, the ocean and sand.’ So here I am back in Rehoboth with that concept.”

 

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Related: Gay-friendly restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

Lutz says he would like to have opened the new bar sooner. However, getting approval for all the relevant permits took longer than expected.

“I waited eight months on permits, which was kind of a grueling process over the summer. But I think it all turned out for the better because this is really the ideal time to open. It gives us the whole winter to tweak things and make everything more perfect by spring and the start of beach season.”

“All about fun”

In Arlington, Freddie’s Beach Bar has regular entertainment, with trivia nights and drag bingo, among other attractions. Lutz is hoping to bring the same events to Rehoboth Beach as soon as he has permission to do so. Until that time, they can host karaoke but without a stage.

The son of an army colonel, Lutz was born in New York City but says his family relocated to Arlington when he was three years old. Besides a brief spell at art school in Rhode Island, he’s spent his life in Arlington. He still lives in the house in which he was raised.

He’s now traveling back and forth between Crystal City and Rehoboth Beach but is enjoying the challenge of getting his new restaurant up and running.

Freddie's Beach Bar in Virginia
Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington has been running since 2001 (Photo: Supplied)

When asked by GayCities what makes Freddie’s Beach Bar such a special place, he highlights the impossible-to-miss decor.

“We’re very colorful and flamboyant, and it’s just a fun atmosphere. I think the minute you walk through the door you can tell it’s going to be all about fun.”

 

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Related: Gay couple shake things up in Atlanta restaurant takeover

Five fun things to do in Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach—dubbed the Key West of the Mid-Atlantic—is a popular getaway town for those living in DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. It’s got many LGBTQ-run businesses.

• Diego’s

Diego’s Bar and Nightclub is run by partners Darryl and Joe. It’s Rehoboth Beach’s largest nightclub and outdoor patio, open year-round from Wednesday-Sunday.

• Purple Parrot Grill Beach Haus

Purple Parrot Grill Beach Haus & Biergarten is another friendly, kitsch bar and restaurant offering brunches, drag, and a German-themed beer garden.

• Blue Moon

Blue Moon is a gay-owned restaurant with a history going back four decades. It offers excellent food and nightly shows for a mixed crowd.

• Poodle Beach

 

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Poodle Beach is the gay section of Rehoboth Beach. You’ll find it at the southern end of Rehoboth Boardwalk. Praised for its cleanliness, it offers great views and is also very pet-friendly (as you’d expect with that name!).

• North Shores

North Shores, near the Gordon Pond Wildlife Area, is another stretch of sand popular with LGBTQ folk, especially gay women.