MIDDLETOWN, Del.— The wait is over, Crooked Hammock Brewery is on its way to Middletown. The popular Lewes Beach born restaurant and brewery broke ground on Monday, April 1 in Middletown’s Autopark, adjacent to the new Holiday Inn Express and Grotto’s Pizza. The ceremony encompassed their “Hammock” state of mind with cornhole boards, canned beers loaded in coolers, and burgers on the grill.
“We wanted the community to get a feel for who we are and what we’re all about,” said Matt Frey, as he handed burgers to guests straight from the grill fired up behind him. Matt Frey is the current general manager of Hammock’s Lewes location. “Crooked Hammock is all about the backyard beach escape. How you feel when you entertain guests in your backyard is exactly the feeling we try to recreate throughout the restaurant, brewery and backyard beer garden.”
And that is exactly what the event evoked. Though a traditional groundbreaking is usually a couple shovels and some hard hats, owner Rich Garrahan wanted the event to give life to the Hammock mindset in Middletown. Members of their team served up beer and burgers that were topped with Chef Jim Foss’s secret sauce, next to what looked like an old retro orange Jeep holding a sign that said “COMING SOON.”
“[Hammock] appreciates the outpour of acceptance this community has already shown us, and we hope to give back to this community more than we get,” said Garrahan. “It is looking like fall of this year we will be opening our doors.”
Middletown’s Mayor, Kenneth Branner, and president of the Middletown Chamber of Commerce, Roxane Ferguson, alongside other members and business owners of the community welcomed the team from La Vida Hospitality. Run by Garrahan, Josh Grapski, and Mitch Rosenfield, La Vida Hospitality is the managing group that operates Crooked Hammock Brewery as well as other popular beach restaurants such as Big Chill Beach Club, Big Chill Surf Cantina, Fork + Flask and Taco Reho.
The 7,000 square foot restaurant and brewery was designed by architect, Jeff Schoellkopf, who is known for many well known spaces in the Ocean City area. The backyard in Middletown will be much bigger than the one in sussex county. It will feature bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits, cornhole boards, a fire pit lounge area, a playground for kids, a beach volleyball court with an outdoor beach bar, and of course – plenty of hammocks! The interior will incorporate large garage doors, creating an open courtyard concept of integrated spaces for guests to enjoy.
The family (and dog) friendly brewery plan on opening their doors, and backyard in October of this year.
Crooked Hammock Brewery will be located at 316 Auto Park Dr. in Middletown, Delaware. The group is currently hiring for all positions. Applications can be submitted at www.lavidacareers.com.
Mayor Kenneth Branner and members of the Middletown community cheers to the brewery’s opening in the Fall of 2019.
Owner Rich Garrahan does the traditional breaking ground at the new site while Mayor Kenneth Branner toasts to the community of the coming family friendly brewery.
“Roxane, and the rest of the Middletown Chamber has been paramount in blending us into the Middletown community, they have even coined themselves as the fun chamber and we love that!” said Erica Wiegman, the hospitality group’s marketing manager.