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Dine Like a Local: Up-Scale Gastro Pub

Once upon a time, there was this self-described science nerd who was expending a lot of brain power working on such boring projects as crash avoidance systems for vehicles.

Then, one day, he thought: What would happen if I used some of that brain power to explore the science of beer?

He shoots, he scores!

Meet Frank Barickman, who is the founder and co-owner of Restoration Brew Worx in Delaware, where he sells the beer that he creates.

“There’s a science to beer making, and I’ll admit I’m nerd, so when I ventured into beer making, I read everything I could about the process,” Frank said. “It started out with a Mr. Beer kit in 1999, and that first batch was really bad. Really bad. After that, I started studying, buying better equipment, and the rest is history.”

Or, science.

Frank grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Gannon University, where he also played hockey, which is a rough and very non-nerdy sport. So, he’s got that going for him. He’s worked as an electrical engineer for 25 years.

At first, his fascination with beer was a hobby. Then, one of his IPAs won second place in a home brew competition. That’s when he really got the fever. He decided to up his game and informed his wife, Roma, “God wants me to be an all-grain brewer.”

Roma rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, sure, Frank. Whatever. Knock yourself out.”

At this point in the interview, Frank talked about judging, Grand Master 3, brewing in his garage, science, blah, blah, blah. So, let’s skip ahead in the story to July of 2014, which is when Frank, Roma and a few investors decided to open Restoration Brew Worx at 25 N. Sandusky Street in Delaware.

As Restoration closes in on its 10th anniversary, Frank and Roma have made it a destination in downtown Delaware. They’ve done this while working full-time jobs. Frank is the Chief of Applied Crash Avoidance Research for the U.S.

Department of Transportation, and Roma is a mental health administrator for the state of Ohio.

While juggling all this, they’ve managed to produce some incredible beers, to which they have paired their menu, which Frank describes as “up-scale gastro pub fare.” (He likes to use terms like “a nice portfolio of beers” and “a balanced menu.” When he does this, you have to give him a couple minutes to get off his high horse, but he usually comes back pretty quickly.)

Restoration keeps 12 beers on tap, six of which are the core beers. Some of the popular brews are the Delicious – wheat beer; Steward Red – an Irish red ale; 2023 Silverback – Russian Imperial stout; and Eclipse Black Lager – Schwarzbier.

Frank proudly notes that he named the Eclipse Black Lager seven years ago, long before he knew of the April 8 eclipse. However, he hopes to take full financial advantage of the name by staying open on Sunday and Monday of that weekend.

Some of the top menu items (Translation: The stuff I really like.) include pretzel bread, tater tots with chorizo, Pittsburgh salad, any of the burgers, wings, and the blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich.

Oh, and the potato chips. So, Frank makes his own potato chips. Don’t ask him about them, because if you do, he’ll put on his scientist glasses and tell you about low-starch potatoes and frying science. You get the picture. But here’s what you need to know about the chips and the house-made French onion dip: Amazing. Like, you’ll want to take a corner table and hire a bodyguard so that you don’t have to share them with anyone, even your wife, which will cause problems on another level – trust me on this one – but marital strife is a small price to pay for these delicious chips.

Here are a few additional items to note:

– Restoration does a brisk carryout business, and you can order online at the bottom of the homepage at

– Frank will fill your growler – he also sells growler – for carryout. If you don’t have a growler, he will can the beer for you.

– All the sauces, dressings and ketchup are made in-house.

– There’s a kid’s menu with corn dogs that are so popular that Frank put them on the big person menu as an appetizer.

– Restoration hosts music bingo on Wednesdays and trivia contests on Thursdays. Both start at 7 p.m.

– Every other month, Restoration hosts a Saturday night comedy show. It’s a ticketed event. Check out the website for details.

Restoration is open Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., unless people are still buying beer, then Frank will keep the doors open later.

By: Robin Yocum


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