For over 30 years, The Dough Roller has been an Ocean City mainstay, serving thousands of families – be it locals or tourists – with their hand tossed pizzas, massive breakfasts, overstuffed subs and grinders, Italian dinners, and kid-friendly dining. Now, the family owned and operated business is setting up shop in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, opening this week in Downtown Rehoboth just steps from the Boardwalk. We sat down with co-owner Kevin Gibbs this week to discuss the latest venture, the future of the family business, and what makes The Dough Roller unique.
“First off, we love Rehoboth. The people here are really laid back and have been welcoming so far. People seem to be really positive about us coming here,” said Gibbs as we sat in the near-finished space. Much smaller than the Ocean City Dough Roller locations, the Dough Roller team will be slightly out of their element as they make a home in Downtown Rehoboth with roughly half of the seating space they are used to. Despite some new territory, one thing remains the same: family atmosphere. “The family atmosphere up here is great,” said Gibbs. “We love feeding families, that’s what we specialize in.”
The Dough Roller was founded in 1980 when Kevin’s father, Bill Gibbs, opened The Dough Roller Restaurant on 3rd Street and the Boardwalk. From there, the Gibbs family business grew to include Dayton’s Boardwalk Famous Fried Chicken & Seafood, Dayton’s at 69th Street, and The Dough Roller at 41st Street. The Rehoboth restaurant will be their 5th location (currently) and their first in Delaware.
Heading up the Delaware location will be Manager Mike Custis. “Mike has been working with us since he was 16,” said Gibbs, putting full confidence in Custis to handle the operations of the new restaurant. Gibbs noted that it was Custis’s enthusiasm for the new Delaware location that helped them to make their final decision to open in Rehoboth. “It’s really all because of Mike. We felt really confident in him…he’s such a standup guy. When you’re in a family business, it’s all about the employees.”
Of course with a smaller space, there will be some changes to what people typically expect from The Dough Roller. For starters, there won’t be breakfast (yet). The menu will be slightly smaller, but expect plenty of pizza. In fact, the Rehoboth location will be debuting personal pizzas. “We’re pretty excited about that. We want to give people more choices and options,” said Gibbs. Also on the menu will be salads, subs, and grinders. Hours will fluctuate based on the season but expect 11am until 10pm-midnight.
As for future expansions throughout the Delaware region, Gibbs noted that while they are interested in opening more locations someday, they are in no rush to expand too fast. For now, the focus will remain on serving their customers quality food in a fun and relaxed atmosphere…exactly how patriarch Bill Gibbs envisioned when he opened the first Dough Roller over 30 years ago.