Updated: Abbott's Grill in Milford Closing - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Abbott's Grill in Milford Closing

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

MILFORD, Del.- After nearly a decade in business, Abbott's Grill in Milford will soon be closing its doors for good. 

Chef-owner Kevin Reading said the restaurant, located at 249 NE Front St., won many awards over the past nine years, including best restaurant in Milford and Wine Spectator magazine's Excellence Award.

Reading said that even though Abbott's Grill garnered much recognition and brought thousands of people to Milford, when his five-year lease recently came up for renewal, he made the decision not to do so.

"When we first opened up, we had a captive audience," Reading explained, but added that over the years, each new restaurant that has opened in Milford, such as Grotto Pizza, Arena's and Mispillion River Brewing, and even Chick-fil-A, "has taken a little bit of our business."

"The mom and pop places that put their heart and soul into things are going to soon be replaced by the cookie-cutter corporate type of things. So be careful what you wish for, so if you see people trying to do the right thing try to support them," Reading said. 

Reading said he tried to play on his restaurant's strengths, namely events and banquets, in order to keep it economically viable. But the time came when he had to made a decision. 

"I tried to turn it, but if I was able to continue it I would still be here," Reading said. "It's tough in a rural community."

"If there was an angel investor who popped up in the last hour or so I'd probably pursue it," Reading said. But as it stands now, the last day for the Milford restaurant is Jan. 12. 

Reading said this should give customers enough time to redeem gift certificates. He also hopes to close on a happy note.

"I want this to be a celebration of life, not a funeral," Reading said. 

Some comments on social media who followed the announcement called the restaurant overpriced and overhyped.  But Reading says the price was indicative of the organic, locally-grown product on the plate. 

"I'm buying organic, I'm buying from local farmers here so it's not processed product. You know, is it worth a dollar or two more? I think it is," Reading said. 

Abbott's Grill's other location in Laurel will continue to remain in business, Reading said. He plans to carry on the rotating farm-and-table menu he had at the Milford location. Reading also noted that the Laurel location has an even larger banquet room than the one in Milford. 

"I'm terribly saddened, more than I'm probably letting on. But I'm very proud of what we've done here. We came here into this community when no one would come into the community," Reading said. 

Reading is also pursuing other endeavors and said he will be partnering with Brick Works Brewing and Eats to open a second location in the Millsboro-Long Neck area.

(Photo: WBOC)





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