The ribbon is cut! DECO Wilmington opens for business at 5pm Thursday, April 18, with food from:
Spark’d, a creative pastry shop specializing in baked goods, coffee and cakes
Connie’s Chicken & Waffles, with their award-winning Baltimore waffles
Pizzeria Bardea, serving pizzas and salads from the people behind the James Beard nominated Bardea Food + Drink
Phubs, serving Vietnamese pho, banh-mi subs and rice bowls
The Verandah, an Indian street food outpost
Stripp’d, offering smoothies, juices, acai bowls and salads
Al Chu’s Sushi, sushi and poke from Mikimoto’s former sushi chef
The Pop-Up, or “test kitchen,” which will serve as a home to a rotating roster of chef-tenants that will change biweekly to monthly throughout the year, starting with Dan Sheridan and the Locale BBQ Post
All that and a beautiful bar too, with happy hour nightly from 3-7pm. That’s the kind of important fact we learned when we attended the ribbon cutting last night. Here’s what else people had to say:
Mayor Mike Purzycki: I remember when Tom Carper, years ago, said what Wilmington really needs is excitement, to create a great urban experience. What is happening here is very exciting. And I’m very excited to try the chicken and waffles.
Peter DiPrinzio of Seawall Development: We sat down with every single chef in the area, in the region, that would listen to us about this crazy idea, to ask what would happen if we gathered a group of passionate, talented culinary professionals and put them all under one roof. Some people told us we were crazy and it wouldn't work. They're not here today.
Who are here today are eight amazing operators, eight amazing entrepreneurs, and after all the cameras are gone after these events have happened, they will be here every day working making delicious food for you guys to come enjoy.
Leah Steinberger of DECO’s Spark’d Pastry and Coffee: We want to become the neighborhood bakery for all of Wilmington. We want to welcome everybody and make cakes and pastries and all the custom things. I’ve been with the Hotel du Pont for many years, and I remember the days when this was the dark corner, the sad corner. And this is the light area now. We’re ‘sparking’ something fun.
Chris Buccini of The Buccini/Pollin Group: My heart is like racing like crazy. I think part of that is my grandfather turned 100 on Sunday. He came here from Italy, and he worked in this building as an uneducated laborer, as someone who didn't finish high school. To be today here is pretty inspirational.
We've always wanted Wilmington to be the best version of itself. And that's why we've tried to bring in exciting things like Penn Cinema, Theater N, The Queen theater, the Playhouse on Rodney Square, Constitution Yards Beer Garden, the 76ers Fieldhouse, three Starbucks, the largest grocery store in the state, numerous hotels, and even the James Beard nominated restaurant Bardea. So I think we are beyond thinking about how we get Wilmington to become exciting. We have arrived.
Governor John Carney: I have lived in the city of Wilmington for 30 years now and it's never been more exciting to be a resident. It's never been more exciting to be part of the culture downtown. It's never been more exciting to go out to eat. It's never been more exciting to get on a bike and go on the Markell Trail, all the way to Old New Castle. More people are going to want to be here, more businesses are going to want to locate here. And when the city of Wilmington is successful, the state of Delaware is successful.
Amy Watson Bish of The Playhouse at Rodney Square: It’s awesome. It’s fresh, it’s unlike anything downtown, and it will be open weekends. We’re very excited to have our patrons experience at the theater enhanced.
Mark Fields of The Grand Opera House: It’s always great when you get a new restaurant downtown. It’s pretty amazing when you get eight at one time.
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