WILMINGTON — A longstanding Wrightsville Beach favorite, Boca Bay, is revamping and modifying after being closed for renovations during Covid-19. Urban Food Group, which also runs Osteria Cicchetti and Brasserie du Soleil, is launching Soundside Seafood and Raw Bar, according to co-owners Kevin and Stacey Jennings — a modern seafood restaurant, featuring locally fresh-caught seafood.
“In all our offerings, there will be an emphasis on who caught it, when it was caught and where it was caught,” Kevin said in a press release.
The menu was crafted by Soundside’s new chef, KC Weaver. Weaver has been working at another Urban Food Group eatery, Avelina in Denver, under Chef Josh Oakley. A South Carolina native, Weaver was happy to return to the East Coast to work with familiar ingredients, according to the release.
“To create delicious daily features is something I’m extremely excited about executing,” he said.
The menu will feature items like a seafood tower, steamed and raw seafood-bar offerings, steak tartare, oysters Rockefeller, flounder tacos, shrimp scampi, seared scallops, as well as sandwiches, like a tuna burger and a fried oyster po’boy.
The food group began renovating Boca Bay over the last year as Covid-19 temporarily shuttered many restaurants in the area. The Jennings said it wasn’t until they tasted Weaver’s new menu they decided to move toward a total rebrand.
“[F]eedback was overwhelming positive,” Kevin said.
The Jennings said the decades-old building at 2025 Eastwood Rd. needed upgrades and maintenance, but the scale of the renovation grew as the process got underway. The interior has been updated and there is an expanded patio.
“We saw this as an opportunity to make some updates to the overall aesthetics and give the restaurant a more modern and casual atmosphere.” Stacey said.
What didn’t change was some of Boca Bay’s dedicated staff, like general manger Sue Bayrd, who said in the release she is excited about what’s to come — namely, “supporting our local seafood and oyster community.”
Sunday brunch was a popular mainstay at Boca Bay and will continue at Soundside. The restaurant group said it will relaunch it on Mother’s Day, May 9. Otherwise, Soundside will be open 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
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