|Looks good so far Johnny Wad!|
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971-2925
For the first time, we have a guest writer for HitThatDive! Fellow dive-bar-hopper, wing-eater, beer-drinking-buddy and all around swell guy Johnny Wad took a few moments from his trip to the Rehoboth Beach to write up a review of a place called Zoggs. Wads...the dirty bar floor is yours...
It’s a Tiki Bar. No wait, it’s a Sports Bar. No, it’s a seafood place. Oh, wait a minute; it’s a place to see live music. It’s all of those things. It’s Zoggs, and it’s where I want to die. Nestled in an alley behind Gus’ Diner in Rehoboth Beach, DE (another great dive, but that’s a story for another time), Zoggs is that rarest of places, a dive that’s held on as the rest of the world has gone corporate.
|I'd belly up to that bar|
First Impressions: Zoggs is hidden behind two other establishments, a blue awning sticking out from an alley the only clue it’s there. Seclusion is always a good sign for a dive, which is impressive for a place less than 50 feet from the Rehoboth Boardwalk.
The Bar(s): There are actually 2, not bad for a small structure. Upon entering the alley you enter the courtyard tiki bar. Steel Drum Jimmy plays most days, providing a mix of Buffett, reggae, and calypso. It set’s a perfect atmosphere for the place.
|Now we're talkin'!|
The Crowd: Like any beach, it’s a real mix. Not quite the crowd in the “Star Wars” cantina, but not far off. Middle-aged guys in Hawaiian shirts, buzzed college kids, families there for the weekend, cougars in very revealing outfits (you know you can’t look away), and one guy in the corner who may or may not be the drummer Credence Clearwater Revival. Despite this, the atmosphere is light and airy. The dinner hour is particularly family friendly, with Steel Drum Jimmy approachable by kids. As the night wears on and the kiddies are in bed, the place takes on a younger, drinking vibe, but still easygoing and laid back.
|50/50 he got lucky|
Prices: It’s the beach, so I expected to be gouged. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. Weekly specials include $2 beers and $3 rails. Nuff said. The food was affordable, with both a dinner and bar menu.
Food: Where to begin? Let’s try alphabetically. They have alligator.
|Just cram it into the wall|
And on the beverage side, there is a rum menu. How much rum? Try over 100 flavors from 18 different countries, including Cuba, which is a fabulous forbidden fruit.
But seriously, they had me at alligator.
|Not the World's biggest crowd|
But the real crown jewel is Steel Drum Jimmy. Playing almost nightly, the guy is a real treasure. Bouncing between buffet, Marley, and what could swear was a Broadway show tune, Jimmy keeps it light and easy, so that you just want to keep on drinking. He’s great with kids, drops a few jokes, and makes you wish you were him.
Restrooms: It’s a toilet in a beach bar, so I was prepared for the worst. I was please that it was just plain mediocre. It’s a single room, so there’s no company in there with you, but the dampness was a bit off-putting. Just get in and out and back to the bar.
How Far Did My $20 Go: In a town where meter parking is $1.50 an hour, Soda’s cost $4 at a stand, and money is seemingly sucked out of your pockets, Zoggs is an Oasis. I had alligator, 3 beers, a game of pool and a game of foosball. Add in the free beer for the food mix-up, and yours truly did alright.
Other Observations: If I’m gushing, it’s because the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk has lost some if it’s cheap charm. But Zoggs is holding tightly to its roots, keeping it affordable and fun. And again, if you don’t smile at steel drums, you must be dead.
Final Thoughts: Rehoboth restaurants on 4th of July weekend are cattle calls, with lines out the window for overpriced chow. Hopefully those reading this review won’t overwhelm my little secret alleyway and I can still have a cheap Landshark every now and again.
But, really, do have the alligator.
|Nice work Johnny Wad!!|