Big Fish Atlas Restaurant

Big Fish forms partnership with Baltimore restaurant group

Pam GeorgeBusiness, Headlines

Big Fish Atlas Restaurant

Delaware’s Big Fish Restaurant Group and Baltimore-based Atlas Restaurant Group have formed a partnership.

Big Fish Restaurant Group, a Delaware titan in the hospitality industry, and the Baltimore-based lifestyle hospitality company Atlas Restaurant Group announced today that they’ve formed a partnership.

The Delaware group is known for its flagship Big Fish Grill, which has locations in Rehoboth Beach and Ocean View and on the Wilmington Riverfront. A previous site in Glen Mills closed and is now a White Dog Café.

Atlas Restaurant Group has more than 36 restaurants, bars and entertainment concepts in four states — Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The partnership gives the group a firm foothold in Delaware.

Atlas CEO Alex Smith and managing partner Eric Smith are former captains of the University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team.

The Smiths often visited Big Fish restaurants when they were young.

Eric Smith calls the partnership a “full-circle” moment in the release announcing the business agreement.

Eric Sugrue, who founded Big Fish with his brother, Norman, said the partnership will be “transformative.”

“Together, we will continue to innovate, inspire and delight our guests, while keeping standards of excellence across various properties in our operations,” he said in the statement.

Big Fish Wilmington Riverfront interior view

Big Fish is best known for its restaurants in Rehoboth and on the Wilmington Riverfront.

Big Fish background

Big Fish has a large hospitality portfolio that includes Wilmington and beach eateries. Not all the restaurants are part of the agreement, Sugrue said. He declined to name the restaurants, but said the majority are part of the deal.

Big Fish Grill, which opened in 1997, was inspired by the Sugrues’ festive gatherings.

The family, which moved to Rehoboth Beach in 1977, seldom lacked for hungry visitors, who appreciated home cooking.

The recipe for Neva’s potatoes, a popular side, comes from the Sugrue matriarch, Geneva.

To open their restaurant, the brothers pooled their money, borrowed from family, and secured a loan.

Business took off. Indeed, the kitchen was so deluged by carryout orders that Big Fish opened an adjoining market.

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In the past, the Sugrue brothers’ management portfolio grew by opening new restaurants and acquiring properties, such as The Summer House, now owned by Regan Derrickson of Nalu fame, and Striper Bites in Lewes.

Holly Monaco, president of Big Fish Restaurant Group, said the partnership will help grow the brands.

“With added resources, sharing the same values and goals, we can continue to build and develop a bright future for our team and further enrich the Big Fish experience for our guests and the communities in which we live,” she said.


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