Restaurateur Laurie Orfanidis said she and co-owner Ben Stoner have a simple goal for their new restaurant Sunny Bay Cafe in Rehoboth Beach.
“When customers walk in, we want them to be happy,” said Orfanidis. “When they leave, we want them to be happy and full.”
Sunny Bay Cafe is located on Rehoboth Avenue in what was most recently Cuvée Ray, and Orfanidis and Stoner are bringing a successful business model from Bel Air, Md., to the beach. The two worked side by side for more than five years at Orfanidis’ last restaurant, called Sunny Day Cafe. It was Stoner’s idea to open a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, and he convinced Orfanidis to come out of retirement.
Stoner said it didn’t take much convincing.
Orfanidis agreed. “I felt like my mind was getting soft,” she said.
Orfanidis has been in the food and restaurant business for over 40 years – Sunny Bay Cafe is her seventh restaurant. Orfanidis said she had all but retired from the restaurant-owning business when she sold Sunny Day.
“I told him, if I’m ever going to do it again, it’s going to be at the beach and it’s going to be called Sunny Bay Cafe. He agreed,” said Orfanidis. “If I’m going to be working, I might as well be at the beach.”
Orfanidis said the plan is to take a few years to get the restaurant up and running, with Stoner ultimately taking over all aspects of the operation.
Stoner said he’s looking forward to running a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.
“It’s the right place at the right time,” he said of the opportunity.
Stoner said Sunny Bay Cafe is all about hospitality. He said his focus is the front end, while Orfanidis will focus her attention on the back of the house.
Orfanidis said Sunny Bay’s menu will feature comfort foods, with, at least in the beginning, a focus on breakfast and lunch. There will be crepes, dessert and savory, she said.
Sunny Bay is in the process of getting a liquor license. When that happens, said Orfanidis, there will probably be a happy hour.
With the help of a number of friends and family from Bel Air, the dining space has been transformed. However, Orfanidis said she knew as soon as she walked into the building it was exactly what they were looking for.
“This looks like Sunny Bay,” said Orfanidis.
Sunny Bay Cafe, 236 Rehoboth Ave., will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, call 302-567-2344, email email@example.com or go to the restaurant’s Facebook page.