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  • Delaware Online | The News Journal

    From ice cream and burritos to vintage vinyl records: 3 new businesses in Dover

    By Ben Mace, Delaware News Journal,


    A Tex-Mex chain restaurant popular in Canada, an ice cream shop with a goal of helping teens and a music store spinning the nostalgia of vinyl records are among new businesses opening in Dover or coming soon.

    BurritoBar to open in Capital Station this fall

    Canada’s largest Tex-Mex restaurant chain with over 250 restaurants is planning a Dover location, only the third in the United States.

    The company was founded in 2005 in Toronto. Known as BarBurrito up north, the chain is rebranding its U.S. restaurants as BurritoBar.

    The Dover business will open this fall in the Capital Station shopping center on Route 13 south at Division Street, behind Aldi, next to Walgreens.

    Dover franchise owner Manish Patel said he’s excited to be among the first in the country to open a BurritoBar.

    “There are other places in Dover you can get tacos and burritos, but I think BurritoBar’s menu is very unique,” he said. “They have their own sauces and salsa, and they do a panini press style of burrito that helps keep everything together. It’s pressed tight enough for you to eat on the go.”

    The restaurant also serves seafood like the popular “bang bang shrimp.”

    Patel has experience in the food service business as co-owner of four Jake’s Wayback Burgers in Delaware.

    He said Capital Station is “a prime traffic-heavy spot,” with great potential.

    The grand opening of BurritoBar is tentatively set for October after interior construction and furnishing are complete.

    Charles Rodriguez of R&R Commercial Realty, who brokered the deal, said the addition of BurritoBar will nearly fill the shopping center, with only a few thousand square feet of retail space left in what was once a vacant industrial site.

    “The center has a very strong mix of businesses now and attracts consistent traffic. It’s really come a long way from its days as the shuttered Playtex factory,” Rodriguez said.

    More Dover development news:Taco Bell, Crumbl Cookies, beer garden and more businesses coming to the Dover area

    Ice cream shop downtown is a community service venture

    The new ice cream shop that held its grand opening July 19 at 305 W. Loockerman St. in Dover has a recipe to help the community.

    “The Scoop is a social enterprise created to engage youth in learning how to operate a business,” said Karen Speakman, executive director of NeighborGood Partners, a nonprofit group that specializes in affordable housing counseling and development, financial education and lending.

    But NeighborGood Partners has also committed to the Restoring Central Dover downtown revitalization program and to Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice anti-violence program with youth services and leadership training.

    The Scoop helps with both of those goals, filling a vacant storefront while providing job training for teens.

    One of the teens is Kaseem Cotton.

    “Working here has helped me to be accountable, responsible and learn about saving money, which is important because I’m preparing to go to college,” he said.

    What’s the best part of working at the shop?

    “You get to see people like this, enjoying ice cream on a hot day,” Cotton said. “It makes them happy.”

    Led by coordinator Kim Reeves, the shop sells ice cream with waffle cones made fresh daily, along with milkshakes, water ice and hot dogs.

    Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

    The staff held the grand opening with the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce on July 19, but they’ve been operating the shop for about two months as they trained workers and prepared for the grand opening.

    Help with funding came from Healthy Communities Delaware, NeighborWorks America, Career Team and SoDel Concepts.

    Changes at renovated shopping center:What's coming to former 7-Eleven and bank at renovated Hamlet shopping center in Dover?

    Vinyl record store spins nostalgia

    An antique Victrola phonograph sets the atmosphere at the entrance to N&E LPs, a new record store specializing in vinyl records, at 301 W. Loockerman St., on the corner of New Street in Dover.

    Owners Neil Thomas and Eric Davidson teamed up to open the business about six months ago because they've seen (and heard) the resurgent interest in the vinyl album format.

    “People are looking for the quality of sound they used to listen to, with the occasional little cracks and pops,” Davidson said. “A lot of people say they like the sound of vinyl better than digital.”

    The best way to hear the difference in recording techniques is on some of the older live records, he said.

    “You can hear more of the response from the crowd and more of what's happening on stage. They haven’t cleaned it all up. It’s more authentic,” Davidson said.

    Fans of vinyl also enjoy the album covers, the photos of the artists, the artwork and sometimes the lyrics to the songs in the liner notes.

    “Album covers were a big deal, and when you’d buy an album you’d sit down and look at all the pictures and notes that came with it as you were listening,” Davidson said. “It was an experience.”

    The store buys as well as sells a variety of music styles – rock, pop, rhythm and blues, jazz, classical and even a spoken word record with speeches by President John F. Kennedy.

    “We get most of our albums from collectors who are ready to sell,” Davidson said, “and we also buy some new reissues.”

    Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 302-526-9959.

    Reporter Ben Mace covers real estate and development news. Reach him at

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