Alex Pires, owner of Northbeach and other popular Dewey Beach nightspots, denies that the $1 drink specials are causing any problems, contrary to what town officials state.
An estimated 1000 people had packed Northbeach this past Tuesday for a $1 drink special when police say rowdy patrons became engaged in arguments and fights.
Several people were injured and one was arrested, says Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, Dewey Beach PD spokesman.
At one point, Sgt. Dempsey says the crowd stretched from the Northbeach parking lot almost to Coastal Highway at Dagsworthy Avenue.
The state police, Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, and police dogs from Lewes and Milton came to assist Dewey Beach with crowd control.
Both Wawas between Rehoboth and Lewes closed until the crowds left the area. Some groups frequently meet there to continue their disputes.
As of Sunday, the Dewey Beach Life website shows a “$1 Dollar Night w/ Tricky Dick” scheduled for Tuesday, June 24.
“This promotion by Northbeach is now threatening the health, safety, and well-being of the citizens and visitors to Dewey Beach,” Mayor Diane Hanson said Sunday. “The Dewey Beach police have done an amazing job in keeping things under control. We are working hard to find a permanent resolution to the situation,” she added.
But Alex Pires, owner of Highway One which includes Northbeach, disagrees with the details reported. “Your story is not true… don’t know where you got it from… we have been doing Tuesday dollar night for over a decade… last Tuesday there were no arrests,” he stated. He noted that, like many nights, fake IDs were confiscated and when alcohol enforcement agents seize one, a ticket is issued to the person who attempted to use the fake ID. But “beyond that we had, as usual, no incidents… please check your facts,” he said.
Furthermore, Pires added that “no police were ever at Northbeach… it’s private property and we don’t allow them to park on our private property, so if they told you they made an arrest on our property– it’s also not true.”
Sgt. Dempsey said the police department plans to supplement the Tuesday night shift with extra officers. “We need to make sure we have adequate staff to protect our officers, the Northbeach staff and the patrons if the crowds become unruly again,” he said.
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Alan Henney is a lifelong Rehoboth Beach seasonal visitor although born and raised in Washington, D.C. He worked several years in D.C. TV news and has been writing the “Rehoboth Weekend Update” for more than 15 years. He earned a BA in journalism with honors and an MBA in computer info systems, both from George Washington Univ. He is also a diehard radio geek. If you have a news story or question, please e-mail him at email@example.com