The restaurant has a freshly renovated interior, an updated menu and a new name. Plus, the eatery’s owners have announced plans for a new cafe.
Fans of downtown Wilmington’s Tonic Bar & Grille were in for a surprise when the restaurant reopened for dine-in.
Not only was the interior redesigned and the menu updated, but the restaurant, located at 111 W. 11th St. in Wilmington, also changed its name to Tonic Seafood & Steak.
Veronica Jester, who does business development and marketing for the restaurant, says they’ve been planning to give Tonic an update for a while now, and when Gov. John Carney put restrictions on dining to help limit the spread of COVID-19, it was a perfect time to get the changes underway.
Now, customers are welcomed into a contemporary dining room and bar space with colors of shades of gray, blue and white. Blue light fixtures that double as works of art hang in the main dining room. A wine cellar display is also in the progress of being installed.
“It’s more welcoming,” Jester says of the space.
Jester says the space also feels softer and more open, perfect for the new social distancing regulations of dining out.
The new name, Tonic Seafood & Steak, is meant to give more a focus to what the restaurant does best. Paul Bouchard, managing partner, says guests will see some changes to the menu with an increase in the variety of steak cuts and more seafood dishes.
“The menu is growing more than anything,” he says.
And Tonic’s footprint is growing as well. The restaurant purchased the unit next door which was previously utilized by the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. Bouchard says the new space will be primarily used for events, but the two units will become one, allowing guests to see straight down the city block through glass windows.
Bouchard says the updates show their commitment to the city, and despite the challenges that came with the coronavirus, they are committed to offering more to their customers.
The restaurant owners also purchased the former Movable Feast restaurant, located at 2510 W. 5th St. in Wilmington. Bouchard says it will be renamed Park Cafe to pay homage to Wawaset Park. The cafe’s menu will center around sandwiches, salads and soups with a display case of fresh seafood and steaks. The menu will be seasonal, offering customers the freshest dishes and something new all the time.
There will also be an outdoor patio area for guests to dine outside.
“[It’s] a little oasis,” he says.