There’s a new kid on the block in Rehoboth Beach — well, sort of.
Gay bar Diego’s Hideaway (37298 Rehoboth Ave.) is slated to open Friday, May 18. Joe Ciarlante-Zuber and husband/business partner Darryl Ciarlante-Zuber (aka “Diego”), who owned Dos Locos for 17 of its 26 years in downtown Rehoboth, have a new venture.
The space, formerly the Double L Bar (next to Crystal’s Restaurant), which they bought in March, has been transformed with added tables, planters and lighting to create a “warm, casual fun hangout during the afternoon and evenings.”
The bar area has a new tap system with 16 draft beers and four wines on tap. A huge walk-in refrigerator holds the kegs and there are also new bar stools, seven TVs, a sound system for the bar area and patio and a dance floor updated with new sound and lighting.
“It’s a little crazy with trying to think of every detail and to be ready for the upcoming summer season but it’s coming along nicely,” Joe says. “We work well together.”
The couple sold Dos Locos last year when some longtime customers offered to buy. They thought it was a good fit since they were going to keep the staff, menu, theme, etc. Joe and Darryl took a year off and traveled to Mexico, Italy, Alaska, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Vegas and drove cross-country. They live in Rehoboth year round and spend time in Mexico during the summer.
Their website (diegoshideaway.com) is still under construction but should be ready in a few weeks. Theme nights will be ManDANCE on Saturdays, Bearlesque from Philly on Thursdays and Gear it UP along with weekend tea dance and Yappy Hours on Fridays.
Joe and Darryl have been together for 29 years and married for eight. They discovered Rehoboth in 1989 after a Jersey Shore vacation was ruined (beach closed due to medical items washing ashore) mid-trip.
“Darryl suggested we try Rehoboth as he had been there before. We fell in love with it and never went back to the Jersey Shore again.”
Joe, a 53-year-old Cedar Brook, N.J., native, moved here permanently in 2000. He enjoys the beach, dinner and time with family and friends and spending time in Mexico with Darryl in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out in 1984, when things were not so accepting. Telling my parents was the hardest, even though after telling them, they both said they already knew.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
The couple I came out to — Hugo and Bobby.
What’s Rehoboth’s best nightspot, past or present?
Famous Renegade and Blue Moon
Describe your dream wedding.
We were married in front of Lincoln Memorial with my mom. After Delaware made it legal, we were married at All Saint’s Episcopal Church by Father Max with about 125 friends/family with dinner at Dos Locos. It was amazing!
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
What historical outcome would you change?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Ellen — her show and when she came out.
On what do you insist?
I insist on people being truthful and thirsty.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
Diego’s opens Friday!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“How to Influence People Positively”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I am very happy being who I am (gay!) and would not change anything. Love being me!
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
There is life after this world and it’s one big happy place.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Don’t give up.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That we have to be classified.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Meeting up electronically. Better to go to a bar and talk.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I wish I’d found Rehoboth back then and invested.
Rehoboth really is our home. Spent the past 29 years being here and over the past couple of years, we thought long and hard about where to live next. We thought Santa Fe and even Mexico, but everything keeps bringing us back here. Home.