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Grotto Pizza buys Dolle's iconic property on the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach

Karl Malgiero
Delaware Public Media
An iconic First State restaurant is taking over the former home of an iconic Rehoboth Beach business.

A Rehoboth Beach boardwalk landmark closed January 31 when its lease expired.

But Dolle’s Candyland is moving just steps away - and a well-known name is taking over the old property:



Dolle’s is heading just 100-feet to the west to become part of Ibach’s Candy by the Sea.

And Grottos Pizza purchased the former Dolle’s property at the corner of Rehoboth Avenue and the Boardwalk.

“We were approached about a month ago from the owners of Dolle’s Realty which owns the Kohr Bros. building, the Dolle’s building and then next door on the boardwalk - the Beach Luncheonette," said Grotto Pizza vice president Jeff Gosnear. "And they approached us about purchasing it.”

Gosnear says while Grotto Pizza founder Dominick Pulieri has not yet developed site plans for the property, the company has high hopes for it.

"Our long term goal is to take our restaurant that’s at the corner of Baltimore (Avenue) and the Boardwalk and move it down to the corner of Rehoboth (Avenue) and the Boardwalk,” said Gosnear. 

Gosnear says Grotto Pizza recently celebrated its 60th year in business and is set to open a 23rd location in Millsboro in the next few months.

And there is an effort to move the iconic Dolle’s sign to a new location - but questions about the legality of a move need to be resolved first.

Dolle’s owner Tom Ibach said late last year a group in Rehoboth is working to move it to the Ibach’s Candy By the Sea store. 

But he said the sign is technically illegal, allowed at its current spot only because it predated rules regulating signs.  


Gosnear andIbach agree that keeping the sign where it is would be confusing and are open to finding a way to move it.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.