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April 10, 1998     Cape Gazette
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April 10, 1998

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ss - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Aprn 10 - April XS, 199S i ROBERT V. WITSIL, Jt. CIVIL, CRIMINAL LAW & ZONING Accidents & Personal Injury Home Owners Associations Misdemeanor & Felony Offenses Zoning & Variances Corporate & Business Law DUI & Traffic Offenses Wills & Estates Commercial Litigation 120 South Bedford Street 420 Rehoboth Ave. Georgetown, DE 19947 Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 8 5 5 - 012 0 By Appointment Listing of areas of practice does not represent specialization in those areas. Angle Moon photo Many Rehoboth Beach restaurants have come and gone or been through a number of meta- morphoses since The Camel's Hump first opened its doors 23 years ago. The 20th anniversary at the 21 Baltimore Ave. location was celebrated April 3, when loyal well-wishers packed the dining room. Among those gathered are (l-r) Katie Sheats, former employee and friend; own- er Richie Shihadeh; Law Sheats; employee and relative Julie Monaghan; and Richie's wife and business partner Marsha. Camel's Hump remains pocket of consistency in a sea of ever-changing Rehoboth restaurants By Trish Vernon You Can count on one hand the number of Rehoboth Beach restaurants still under the same ownership 20-some years after opening their doors. In fact, only a couple come to mind, one being The Camel's Hump, which cele- brated its 20th anniversary at 21 Baltimore Ave. this past week, having operated for three years in a Rehoboth Avenue cubbyhole before relocating to what was then a residential street. While to many, Rehoboth Beach is synonymous with salt water taffy, flies and pizza, to oth- ers it conjures up the taste and smell of garlicking homos, frying felafels, tangy salads and spicy gyro from "The Hump," as it is af- fectionately known. The children of waitresses from the early days are now donning the black harem pants and learn- ing the art of serving Richie Shi- hadeh's famous fare under the watchful eye of his wife, Marsha. Pipe inevitably clenched be- tween his teeth, Richie remains faithfully manning the grill and preparing his closely guarded se- cret recipe salad dressing and ho- mos every day and night of their six-month season, while other per- haps less successful restaurateurs have long since taken up golf and left the cooking to an underling. When the Shihadehs rolled into town in 1975 in their old red Volkswagen station wagon, com- olete with Middle Eastern-carpet- ed seats, the community took a re- spective double take. While in 998, no one in this community of a thousand lifestyles would blink; but back then, they didn't fit the mold of the typical Rehoboth Beach businessperson. Of course, the Greek entrepreneurs were plentiful, but Syrians like Richie were still a bit of a novelty. (Mar- sha hails from upper New York State.) "We had met in New York City and when we got married, we de- cided we wanted to start fresh. Richie had visited Rehoboth on vacations and loved it, so off we went," Marsha explained. The rest is history. The Camel's Hump, while not neces- sarily an overnight success, built a loyal following of both local resi- dents and visitors, friends and cus- tomers lured not only by the unique cuisine, but also by the ca- sual camaraderie and humorous impromptu antics of both staff and guests. "We're proud of the fact that we've managed to stay in business this long," said Marsha, chalking it up to "consistent quality and a reputation for great food, the way we do business and our relation- ships with our customers." Over the years, the menu has expanded, but there have been rel- atively few changes, while other Cape Region restaurants may go through chefs and menus quicker than ice melts in August. The Shihadehs introduced gyro (pronounced "geero") to Re- hoboth Beach, and while many others followed in their footsteps, The Camel's Hump's still stands far apart from the rest. As with his homos and salad dressing, Richie zealously remains mum on the exact ingredients, and try as they might, no one has been able to duplicate any of them. But all agree they are as fresh and consis- tently prepared as ever - Richie goes through every delivery per- sonally to insure the new arrivals are top notch. "Richie takes such pride in his recipes and his cooking and watches every plate come back from the tables to make sure the plate is relatively clean. If some- thing's half eaten, he wants to know .if there's a problem and he thrives on positive feedback and is concerned if customers just say it's OK," Marsha noted. Continued on page 59 Subscribe to the Cape Gazette today! Call Co45-7700! WE'VE MOVED[ PLEASE STOP BY AND SEE US AT OUR NEW LOCATION! 720 REHOBOTH AVENUE SUITE 5 Listed at $107,500 %_....2k5.This delightful 1 BR, 1 1/2 BA condo borders the main lake at Spring Lake. Freshly painted and beautifully cared for, this offers "the serenity of a fine neighbor-  hood yet walk or bike to beach -'//.t. and bay location. Call Angie for a ,',/" private showing. (LFRB #337) COMMERCIAL SPACE South Route One, Rehoboth Beach. Next to the Outlets. 2,624 sq. ft. Brokers Welcome. Call Mark Holloway at Long & Foster for details. 1-800-842-5704