Just in time for 2022, Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa opens two new & unique restaurants inspired by the coastal spirit and local influence of Delray Beach. Here, we get the inside scoop from the man behind both concepts, Scott Luper, the longtime Director of Food & Beverage across all of our Opal Collection properties.
With all the beach-going, art gallery-hopping, and bike-cruising you’ll be doing during your stay at Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa, don’t be surprised when you find yourself craving some extra fuel (and extra SPF!) to power your adventures from sun up to sundown. Embrace the true essence of an endless summer with a relaxed morning spent at Opal Grand’s newest health-conscious cafe, Beach Market Cafe, where you can start your day with a superfood-packed fruit smoothie or an Instagram-worthy avocado toast in their inviting and laid-back lounge. Forgo your trusty iPhone for the day and let the sun signal you when it’s time for dinner. Drift, Opal Grand’s new social and dining experience, takes guests on a coastal culinary voyage that encourages them to slow down and let nature be their guide. Meet Scott Luper, the visionary behind each of these seaside experiences, and hear what inspired him to bring a taste of leisure to Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa.
Tell us about the inspiration behind Drift?
When I was thinking about the concept for Drift, I was looking out at the sea and saw a Schooner sailing in the ocean. I watched it move across the water and then disappear into the distance. I remember thinking “I wish I was on that boat.” It got me wondering about where they were going, the different places they would stop, what it was like to experience different cultures and different cuisines. I wanted to create something that felt like that. If you can’t actually be on the boat, you can still feel and dream that you’re on one.
Talk to us about what then inspired the Beach Market Cafe?
When I came up with the idea for Beach Market Cafe, I was standing outside of the resort and across the avenue, I saw people running, jogging, riding bikes, and I thought it would be nice to have a place for them to stop by for a quick smoothie or a grab-and-go meal. It’s also a place where people can come in after walking along the avenue to enjoy dessert, or come in during the day to get work done and even just meet up with friends. It has a cool vibe that makes people want to come in and visit.
How would you describe Drift and what is the cuisine like?
We wanted Drift to make you feel like you were on a boat, stopping and exploring different ports along the way. It was inspired by sailing culture and includes dishes influenced by local and fresh flavors from the sea, the farm, and the garden. You can visit for lunch, happy hour, dinner, dessert, late-night bites and enjoy everything from house-made pasta and freshly baked breads and pastries to locally-farmed produce, fresh seafood, quality beef, and poultry.
Drift is described as having “5 unique social and dining spaces,” can you tell us more about these different spaces?
There is the main dining room, chef’s gallery, two glass-enclosed private enclaves, a mixology room, and an outdoor verandah. For the chef’s gallery, I wanted to create something that felt like you were in your house, at your kitchen counter, with everyone gathered around, talking and enjoying the food. That’s why I brought this component into the restaurant, our culinary guys are right in front of you, preparing the food while you socialize.
Switching gears to the Beach Market Cafe, what is the atmosphere like and what can guests expect?
It has an energetic and healthy vibe that makes people want to go inside and hang out. When you walk inside you’ll see these vintage Schwinn Phantom bikes hanging from the ceiling – which also features reclaimed pecky cypress wood originally from inside the hotel, shiplapped walls, laser-cut metal art hanging on the walls, and large sliding barn doors. There are two casual dining areas with soft seating, a few communal tables for people to get some work done or just hanging out with friends, and the inside flows right out onto the courtyard with artificial turf, cafe tables, and a bike rack. We’re directly across from the Tammy Fender Spa so a lot of people will come from the spa and grab a smoothie or something to go.
What are some highlights from the menu?
We have lots of healthy options like smoothies, sandwiches, salads, wraps, bakery items, coffee, grab-and-go meals, and snacks. If you’re walking along the avenue and looking for a place to get dessert, a beer, or a glass of wine, we have those too.
So what’s coming up in 2022 for Drift and the Beach Market Cafe?
In 2022 we’re introducing a plated, family-style Sunday Brunch at Drift with different breakfast options fresh out of the stone oven, a carving station serving roast beef and sides of salmon, and a Bloody Mary and mimosa bar where guests can pick from a bunch of different items to can add to their drink. As for Beach Market Cafe, we’re launching another location at Lido Beach Resort on the Gulf Coast this year with the same healthy menu staples that our guests love. We will also continue to push out smoothie specials, new grab-and-go sandwiches, and come out with more creative items.
Where to Stay Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa
Open Daily Dining: 11:30 am-10:00 pm
Bar Service Open Daily: 11:30 am-12:00 am
Social Hour: Monday through Friday 4:30 pm-6:30 pm
Beach Market Cafe Hours
Open Daily: 6:30 am-3:00 pm