One of the best views at the beach will get a big boost when Big Chill Beach Club opens in Delaware Seashore State Park. The million-dollar project, which was recently put on display for officials and dignitaries, sits at the foot of the Indian River Inlet Bridge.
The restaurant is a partnership between La Vida Hospitality Group and Delaware State Parks. “We’re trying to be as low-impact as possible to the environment,” says Josh Grapski, managing partner of La Vida Hospitality Group, which includes Fork + Flask at Nage, Crooked Hammock Restaurant & Brewery, Taco Reho food truck and the restaurant portion of Lefty’s Alley & Eats.
“We’re building decks on top of existing buildings or in areas that are not protected,” Grapski explains. “The sexy side of it is the deck on the rooftop of the existing concession stand that will feature an umbrella bar.”
Forget two-toned umbrellas with beer logos. This high-tech item, which hails from Austria, spans 36 feet and has glass walls that can withstand 100-mile-per-hour winds. Up to 75 people can sit under the retractable umbrella, which offers 360-degree views. Additional areas covered by pergola include an oyster bar. Beachcombers can dine at the restaurant or the concession area.
What’s with the Big Chill name? La Vida also owns Big Chill Surf Cantina, whose coastal vibe served as inspiration. That restaurant, a tavern, does not prepare food, but patrons can order from the Taco Reho food truck in the parking lot. Big Chill Beach Club, meanwhile, is a family-friendly full-service restaurant that will close by 10 p.m.
Taco Reho specialties are on the menu, as well as sandwiches (Sandy Buns), salads (Shreds) and entrees, including crab cakes. Beachcombers can still visit the concession stand, and plans call for an online service that would let them order food while sitting in their beach chairs or in the nearby RV park.
The new restaurant also brings the flagship Fork + Flash at Nage into play. The catering division will serve the event tent pavilion, which can handle wedding receptions and events for up to 160 guests and meetings for up to 200 people.
The main attraction, though, is the view. At night it will encompass the bridge, which casts a neon blue light after sunset.
To park in the lot, you must either obtain a seasonal pass or pay the state park fee to use the car lot. But, as Grapski notes, the price is less than you’d pay to park in downtown Rehoboth.
For information and to stay on top of the opening, visit bigchillbeachclub.com.