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 Discovering Dewey Beach’s Icon: Gary’s DBBS (Formerly “Gary’s Surf Spray Cafe”)

About Gary Cannon

Gary, a former University of Delaware player in the 1980s, has a deep-rooted connection with the beach.  Although Gary originally hails from rural New Jersey, his summers have always revolved around the seaside. Before discovering Dewey Beach during his college years, he spent five summers as a lifeguard on the Jersey shore. Dewey Beach wasn’t even on his radar until he followed some college teammates to this charming coastal town three decades ago. Landing a job at the Bottle & Cork, Gary has since become an integral part of the Dewey Beach community.

Reflecting on Dewey’s past, Gary chuckled, mentioning how the town was still finding its identity. Drinking on the beach was a common sight, and Dewey had only recently become incorporated in 1981, earning the distinction of being the youngest town in the state.

Gary embarked on his entrepreneurial journey 33 years ago when he opened Gary’s. During the initial five years, his restaurant, situated on the northeast corner of New Orleans Street and Coastal Highway, operated exclusively from Memorial Day to Labor Day. After Labor Day, the town quieted down considerably. In the winter months of those early years, Gary traded the beach for the mountains, working as a personal trainer in Aspen, Colorado.

Aspen, with its year-round active lifestyle and a community focused on environmentally sustainable practices, left a significant impression on Gary. While he doesn’t preach about recycling loudly, you won’t find any plastic cups in his trash bins. In addition to his commitment to environmental responsibility, Gary has taken pride in being one of the first Dewey Beach restaurants to offer healthy food options. When he initially opened his establishment, his vision was to create a haven for health-conscious beer drinkers. Over the years, he estimates having served thousands of turkey burgers and turkey cheesesteaks. And a decade ago, Gary’s expanded its menu to include sushi because, as Gary puts it, he’s a fan of sushi himself.

With Gary’s dedication to the environment and his passion for providing a diverse menu, his establishment, Gary’s, has become a beloved part of Dewey Beach’s thriving community. It’s a place where the love for the beach and a commitment to healthy living come together in perfect harmony.

Nestled in the heart of Dewey Beach, Delaware, you’ll find an iconic establishment that’s been serving up healthy food, fantastic brews, and good times for over three decades. Founded by Gary Cannon, lovingly known as “Gary’s,” is more than just a local restaurant; it’s a legendary part of the community. With a history dating back to 1991, this establishment has been a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike.

Let’s take a closer look at the story behind Gary’s and why it’s a must-visit spot when you’re in Dewey Beach.

A Legacy of Over Three Decades

Gary’s opened Memorial Day Weekend in 1991 and has been a fixture in Dewey Beach ever since. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the area without it. For over 33 years, Gary has been the fearless leader, overseeing the brewery’s operations and ensuring that every visitor has a memorable experience.

Below – Gary and Ava Canon, Circa 90’s

From Beach Shack to Iconic Location

While Gary’s was originally just a beach shack, it didn’t take long for its popularity to outgrow its humble beginnings. In 1997, Gary’s Brewing made a significant move to a new and larger location, solidifying its status as a Dewey Beach icon across the street from other local legends such as The Starboard.

The new location, with its inviting atmosphere and scenic views, became an instant hit. It provided more space for patrons to gather, enjoy delicious and healthy foods & brews, and soak in the beach vibes. Whether you’re relaxing with friends after a day in the sun, or after your shift as a lifeguard, or looking for a lively evening out, Gary’s is the place to be.

Craft Beer Heaven

Gary’s is known for its exceptional craft beer selection, and they take great pride in their brews. With an impressive variety of beers on tap, there’s something to please every palate. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and crisp lagers, you’ll find a wide range of options to choose from.

A Gathering Place

Beyond the excellent beer selection, Gary’s is a hub for community and good times. It’s a place where locals and visitors come together to share stories, enjoy live music, and create lasting memories. The laid-back atmosphere is perfect for unwinding, making new friends, or catching up with old ones.

Whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor, you’ll always feel like part of the Gary’s family. The welcoming staff and vibrant atmosphere make it easy to see why this place has thrived for so long.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning a trip to Dewey Beach, Gary’s Brewing should be at the top of your list of places to visit. It’s not just a brewery; it’s a beloved institution that has stood the test of time.

  • Service options: Serves happy hour food · Serves great cocktails · Doesn’t accept reservations
  • Address2000 Coastal Hwy, Dewey Beach, DE 19971
  • Website: 

Be sure to check their website or give them a call for their current hours and any special events they may be hosting during your visit.

In conclusion, Gary’s Brewing in Dewey Beach is more than a brewery; it’s a cherished part of the community with a rich history and a commitment to serving fantastic craft beer. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just looking for a fun place to relax, Gary’s has it all. So, raise a glass and toast to the enduring legacy of Gary’s Brewing—here’s to another 33 years of great beer and even better memories!