Welcome to Freddie’s
Over the Top and Wonderful
Last month, when an article in the Washington Blade announced that Rehoboth is gayer than ever and attributed the growth to the new Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant in downtown Rehoboth, I had to agree. That’s because its arrival on 1st Street, in the space vacated by The Pond, comes atop our already thriving gay-owned, but diversity-welcoming restaurant scene. I won’t name drop for fear of leaving an establishment out, but the rainbow is exploding on Baltimore, Rehoboth and Wilmington Avenues, 1st Street, and everywhere else downtown.
Welcome, Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant, a sister watering hole to the famous Freddie’s in Arlington, Virginia. It’s a great addition to town for its campiness, cocktails, and cuisine.
Recently, I went in to talk with owner Freddie Lutz who, when he’s there, loves to greet all of his guests at the door. After the pink carpet, Freddie’s pink-jeweled tuxedo jacket is your second clue that fun is at hand. When I went to the bar for this article, I’d already dined there twice and hung out at the bar on a third visit. So I have lots to tell.
First, it’s clear that Freddie loves glitz and glamor. From the flaming pink carpet and rainbow flags outside, to the assortment of authentic and collectible Barbie dolls lining the walls at the ceiling, this place is fun. The pink and purple wooden boards and railing spindles, among other art on the walls, is so different and so well-done that walking into Freddie’s is like immersing yourself in a queer fantasy world. But make no mistake, Freddie’s is fervently straight-friendly as well as a proudly proclaimed gay bar.
The waitstaff, wearing Freddie’s t-shirts echoing the Human Rights Campaign’s equality logo, are friendly and fun. And the bar is generally packed, dispensing well-mixed cocktails to the crowd at happy hour and long into the night.
There are high tops, regular tables, and booths for dining, drinking, and taking in the flamboyant surroundings.
In the course of our visits, we’ve sampled the remarkably delicious (and well-priced) lamb chops—with a hint of mint; the spicy but not too spicy New Orleans-inspired Shrimp and Grits, with abundant chorizo; and the appetizer crab balls which encourage me to come back for the crab cake entrée. The crab recipe may be Virginia or Rehoboth born, but I taste classic Baltimore.
We’ve also sampled the very popular charcuterie board, with an ample selection of meats and cheeses and other goodies, the burger on pretzel bread (yum), and the lovely pear salad. I especially enjoyed the New England clam chowder. A winter night is perfect for combining a Cosmo with hot clam chowder.
Other appetizers include mac ‘n cheese bites and personal flatbread pizzas, with the meatloaf dinner calling me for my next visit, too. And speaking of dinner, their choice of sides includes collard greens (order the vinegar with them), fries, delectable creamed spinach, and more.
And if dessert is in the cards, the carrot cake is delicious, but let’s face it, the chocolate martini rang my bell. And need I say that on our most recent visit the bartender handled requests for a Cosmopolitan, a Rob Roy and a Negroni very, very well, indeed.
Between cocktails or dinner courses, count the number of pink flamingos in the place. It could be a sport.
While Freddie opened the original Virginia Freddie’s over 20 years ago, he’s long wanted to open a Freddie’s Beach Bar at the actual beach. And as his original bar and restaurant evolved into a huge success, he also spent a lot of time here in Rehoboth over the decades. Rumor has it that a lot of his restaurant decorating is based on his once-upon-a-time small backyard patio at his mobile home in Sea Air Village.
Go enjoy the food and drink, and let me know how many flamingos you count. ▼