The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a public meeting to solicit feedback on the potential for a new restaurant at Cape Henlopen State Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, at the Cape Henlopen High School auditorium.
DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation staff will share a presentation about the proposal and gather public input on the proposed restaurant, which would be located at the north side of the park’s main beach parking lot.
The proposed restaurant came from a publicly advertised bid request for proposals to manage the park’s main beach area concession, which includes amenity rentals such as chairs and umbrellas, with the potential for expanded visitor services.
According to DNREC officials, the bid request was spurred by visitor surveys, which showed park users want a higher level of food service and improvements to visitor amenities.
La Vida Hospitality LLC was awarded the contract by DNREC in April to manage the existing main beach food concession. As part of that agreement, there was a provision for researching the feasibility of adding a restaurant and new restrooms, with time set aside allowing both parties to conduct due diligence before any final decisions are made.
As part of the research, Division of Parks and Recreation staff continue to gather data regarding natural and cultural resources in the area, and seek public input regarding the levels of service provided at the site – such as accessibility, restrooms and improved food service.
The division also held an open house at Cape Henlopen State Park in June to share information and gather public feedback about capital projects and proposed planning efforts, including the proposed restaurant, to improve the park’s amenities and conserve Cape Henlopen’s natural and cultural resources.
DNREC extended a public comment period following that meeting and shared the feedback received with the Parks and Recreation Council during its Nov. 3 quarterly meeting, at which public comment also was accepted.
Anyone unable to attend the Dec. 5 public meeting but wanting to give feedback can do so at destateparks.com/contact by selecting Cape Henlopen restaurant proposal from the Delaware State Parks location drop-down menu.