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to the 1861 experience

Tucked away in a dark and intimate setting, under a 100 year old building, 1861 is Middletown's best kept secret.

we aren't easy to find. we seldom advertise. we don't like social media and we rather keep quiet. our vibe is low key and we like it that way. not everyone knows where to go or how to get in, but if you take the time to figure it out, Middletown's best kept secret awaits.  


it was all a dream...

in a 100 year old building on north broad  between main street and cedar Lane,  1861 Gastropub brings a contemporary spin to southern cuisine in historic middletown. 


inspired by the town's rich history, co-owners

matthew nye and ashley stratton take their love for gastronomy,  and the alluring past of mixology and bring you creative and thoughtful cocktails and dishes. 

with its interior brickwork, dark cherry wood trim and cozy fireplace, 1861’s ambience is a perfect match for our down home southern cuisine that focuses on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.​


1861 is a restaurant like no other;
with artfully arranged artifacts and surprising vignettes around every corner, filled with the spirit of New Orleans and the heart of Philadelphia.



let us cater your next event


love is in the details

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ashley stratton,
executve SHEf

philadelphia-native ashley stratton has spent years perfecting her craft. at just 26 years old ashley decided it was time to stop fantasizing about owning her own restaurant and make it happen. a year later on october 29th 2018 ashley and her fiancé, matthew, purchased the acclaimed 1861 in historic middletown, delaware.


ashley's personal style is in every nook of 1861. from the quirky vintage artwork, creative cocktails, to the occasional wu tang songs that play in the background; you know ashley's big imagination and rebellious attitude goes into every detail. 


ashley's love for food comes from watching the matriarchs of the her family cook food that brought her large family together every sunday for dinner. her goal is to invoke love and excitement through every bite. the same way that her grandmother Lucille did when she was a child.

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matthew nye,

matthew nye is no stranger to hard work. the loving father of 5 works full time as an operations manager for 3m while owning and operating 1861.  born in Wilmington, de, matthew's knowledge of delaware's rich history and passion for great food is the driving force behind 1861's great aesthetic.


with his unparelleled work ethic and determination to provide for his family, there is no wonder why everything he touches turns to gold. 

you may see him sitting at 1861's bar, quietly analyzing the room, watching guest reactions and taking notes. he prefers to keep a low profile but his presence at 1861 is highly noticeable. he likes to focus on the small details that helps make 1861 run smoothly. With matthew’s strong analytical skills and ashley’s vivid imagination the pair are the perfect duo


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