Rehoboth Dolle’s sees outpouring of support, some calling to register it as National Historic Landmark
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – After more than 90 years, the iconic Dolle’s Candyland on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk is relocating and its famous sign will eventually be moving as well.
The owner, Tom Ibach, tells 47 ABC that the new lease terms for their building simply made it too hard for them to stay. “We felt the terms of the lease were not economically feasible for us. So we decided to just move. It was just too much rent and changes in the lease itself as far as responsibility for paying various things that we weren’t responsible for in the other lease.”
“This has absolutely nothing to do with the mayor or the council or commissioners. It has nothing to do with them. This is just a business decision that ‘s coming about with our disagreement with the owner. That’s all. The city doesn’t really have any input into leases or things like that.”
Dolle’s will be moving only about 50 or 60 feet down to the Ibach’s Candy by the Sea store which will be renamed as Dolle’s. “We are not leaving Rehoboth. That’s the biggest thing. I want to express my gratitude for the outpouring support that we’ve received during these trying times, if you will. I know it’s shocking for a lot of people. Again we didn’t do this and take it lightly.”
Ibach says he’s heard people want to hire a lawyer or even get Dolle’s declared as a National Landmark in order to help. “It’s been really supportive. People are really supporting the move. They are upset about the sign. They’re really bent out of shape actually about the sign.”
While he appreciates the support Ibach says he wants people to know this was not an easy decision and Dolle’s is not leaving Rehoboth. “For me, this is a very emotional thing because my grandparents were here. This is where their house was. They lived here above the business. So it is an emotional thing so I have an emotional attachment with it but I think in the long run it’s going to work out,” says Ibach.
The current lease at Dolle’s in Rehoboth Beach ends December 31st. Ibach says the sign will stay up for a little while until they figure out if it can be safely moved to the new location and if the city will approve that move due to current city code.
“That’s an engineering thing because the Dolle’s building itself is two stories. Ibach’s is one. And then on either side, you have a two story building and a three story building. So we have to get it to work in there as well as get a little bit of permission from our neighbors to see if they’re on board with us putting in a sign like that there.”
As for staffing, Ibach says they will have less staff with a smaller location but that it will be a similar number of employees that they had this summer during the pandemic. “During the COVID thing this past summer, we didn’t have staff anyway. So if we had another repeat this next summer, we would be able to handle it a little easier. Then not to mention that we wouldn’t have to worry about the rent because we struggled a lot last year because of the COVID thing and we don’t have to worry about the rent at the other location.”