It’s official, TenderBones Rib Shack is coming to Dover. Last Wednesday morning, owner Clinton “Chef Bones” Harris watched as his new sign was bolted to the marquee on 617 East Loockerman Street.
“We’re really excited about opening here,” he said. “We recently sent out a feeler with our fans, asking where they’d like to see us next. Response after response came back: Dover.”
With one already successful location in Bear, TenderBones Rib Shack has become well-known in the past few years for its authentic southern-style barbeque. Harris’s culinary prowess caught headlines back in 2018 when he first began making his signature three-pound cheesesteak. Things really took off for the heavyweight sandwich when James Pappas, creator of Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure and sampler of over 300 different eateries in the tri-state area, ate one and gave it a 96 out of 100 – one of his highest scores. Since then, Harris has sold almost 30,000 of the sandwiches and they’ve become known informally as ‘Delaware’s best cheesesteaks.’ He knows how many he’s sold because he numbers and signs each box.
“In Dover we’ll have to start back over at #1,” said Harris.
The space he’s moving into was formerly Where Pigs Fly, a restaurant that closed its doors last November.
“We were sorry to see Where Pig Fly leave, especially after being there for over 25 years,” said listing broker Charles Rodriguez of R&R Commercial Realty. “But, we’re really happy to be bringing in TenderBones. He’s going to keep the tradition of great barbeque alive here in Dover.”
After completing renovations inside the 124-seat eatery, Harris is planning to have a soft opening at his new location sometime in the next month. After a larger grand opening that will follow, he plans to stay open seven days per week.
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