The Fenwick Island area’s newest dining experience is all that, and then some. In fact, owner Jimmy Kraft has welcomed twins John and Randy Fels as managers, to transform it into the ultimate triple threat: restaurant, bar and seafood market. Combine those with a great view and affordable pricing, and you have Beach Daze.
“It’s hard to find a good place around here that offers the freshness we have at the seafood market,” said John Fels, who, along with his brother Randy has been in the restaurant biz for several decades. The two are no strangers to customer service in the area, either, after keeping patrons smiling and coming back for more at Bethany Beach hotspot The Cottage Café. Prior to their move to the beaches, they ran a casual dining restaurant in Baltimore for two and a half years.
“We still have a great connection with everybody at Cottage Café,” said John Fels. “They’ve been a great help. We told them when we started there a little over a year ago, we would stick around until we found an opportunity like this. At Cottage, we were meeting people and making connections.” Supportive customers have even made their way down to Beach Daze for the food and fun.
Beach Daze has taken the place of the former Outrigger’s restaurant along Route 54 near Fenwick Island, and the guys have wasted no time getting it ready.
“John and Randy are our front line,” said Kraft. “People know their faces, and they’re helping make this place a family-oriented establishment.”
One of the things that the staff is sure will keep customers showing up are the prices.
“If you want to be year-round and have consistently good food, you have to be reasonably priced, seven days a week,” said Kraft. “Other restaurants have higher prices with competition moving in.”
For that reason, nothing on the dinner menu is priced above $20, from stuffed rockfish and chicken Chesapeake to chicken marsala and spicy seafood alfredo. The bar stocks plenty of spirits, and features the “Blue Daze,” an original twist on a pina colada. Beach Daze even carries hard-shell crabs for customers. The market selection boasts the freshest catches arriving daily, as well as shrimp (raw or steamed), softshell crabs, lobster tails and homemade macaroni, potato and shrimp salads, and coleslaw.
“We can offer better prices in the market because we have a full kitchen and menu,” said Randy Fels. “The main thing we want people to get is that we’re a restaurant first. I’ve been working in restaurants since I was 16, so we definitely know almost everything there is to know.”
“They’re still teaching me new things,” Kraft said with a chuckle. “John and Randy are very loyal guys, and we’ve hired a great staff. We have a very clean operation now, and they’ve really put a lot of hours into making this place look good. It’s going to pay off for everyone.”
The timing may have been right, but opening a new name in today’s economy is never an easy thing to do.
“We got started right at the beginning of the season,” said John Fels, “but we’re in this for the long haul. Everything we do is looking at the big picture. We’re not looking to make money right now. You can’t expect that.”
And, for now, they have accomplished what they have aimed to do and hope the rest will fall into place.
“All we want to do is bring the things that are not here,” said John Fels. “Good food at a fair price and in an great environment. You can get two of those, but usually not all three.”
For more information about Beach Daze, stop by their location along Route 54 in Fenwick Island or call (302) 436-7700.