Rigby’s: Simple Home Cooking, Casual Style
Oh, Rigby’s. It’s an institution at 404 Rehoboth Avenue in downtown Rehoboth. And the site on which it stands has been a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ folks and their straight allies for as long as anyone around here remembers. Personally, I ate and drank at the bar when it was called Harlows in the late 90s. Next came Partners Bistro after the turn of the millennium. It happily held forth for a few years and continued the tradition of good music, food, and drink.
But by 2009, it became Rigby’s Bar and Grill under the purview of John Black and John Glenstrup. They’ve made it a popular tradition over the last 14 years for good food, drink, and music. It’s a friendly place with speedy servers and great menu selections.
On a super-busy Friday night at the end of July (one of those oppressive steamy hot nights!) we ducked into the cool oasis of Rigby’s for dinner and drinks. From the beginning, it was a pleasure as the bartender knew just how to blend a Cosmo for me and a Rob Roy for Bonnie. We did not have to explain that a Rob Roy is a Scotch Manhattan.
We sampled the crispy fried shrimp appetizer, simply done and delicious followed by three entrees (our friend Diane joined us)—I sampled the crabcake as I am always seeking a true Baltimore version. Well done! The two jumbo lump blue crab cakes (no filler!) are served with two sides. I chose the creamy mashed potatoes and a very fresh side salad.
Bonnie ordered the seared scallops served with asparagus, nicely prepared and wonderfully tasty. Diane went for the signature Friday night Prime Rib special—cooked perfectly to order and an enormous portion. Now that’s some red meat! I loved the big bite I sampled.
By 8:00 p.m. the already-lively atmosphere went up a notch when the karaoke guys, Scotty and Mike, got started. They are at Rigby’s on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and judging by the crowd at the bar they are quite the hot ticket. On Sundays, musician Ed Mills offers live acoustic music beginning at 5:00 p.m., through happy hour, and on till 9:00 p.m.
Some more good things about Rigby’s:
• Its reasonable price points to match its casual atmosphere
• The fact that it’s on upper Rehoboth Avenue and parking spaces are often more plentiful in that area, and
• They have a large patio outside for nights when the world is not on fire.
As we enjoy what’s left of the summer and head into the fall, know that Rigby’s also offers Sunday Brunch from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m., featuring breakfast and light lunch selections (Eggs Benedict and Croque Madam to crab cakes). With their specialty entrees, a complimentary mimosa or bloody Mary comes with!
In addition to the brunch and prime rib specials, Wednesday is Burger Night, with a ½-pound hand-crafted burger with choice of hand-cut fries or coleslaw.
So check out Rigby’s and enjoy dinner and a cocktail, plus some karaoke or live music on a site that has hosted years and years of LGBTQ+ people and our allies. It’s a sweet refuge. ▼
Fay Jacobs is the author of five published books and is touring with her one-woman sit-down comedy show, Aging Gracelessly.