The SeaWitch Cafe & Tiki Bar is gearing up for the summer season and relaunching Sunday brunch service after a 2020 hiatus.
Owners Jenni Pietch and Alex Gilewicz had to scale back on pretty much everything last year in light of the pandemic. Brunch service was cut, the menu was pared down to avoid waste, and there was a shift toward meals designed for carryout, something the restaurant had never focused on previously.
Like many restaurants, they also began serving family-style meals to go.
“We lost a lot of catering business,” Pietch said. “But thank goodness the locals kept coming out.”
Pietch said adjusting to the changing environment was a steep learning curve, but she feels fortunate that the SeaWitch has predominantly outdoor seating, which has allowed them to safely serve customers even throughout the winter months.
And now, as the restaurant gears up for the coming season, brunch is once again being served on Sundays with live music and $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas.
The menu features several traditional breakfast and brunch items such as pancakes, biscuits and gravy, a crab benedict and breakfast quesadillas and sandwiches.
Brunch service currently runs from noon to 3 p.m., but that will likely shift to an 11 a.m. in the coming weeks once the restaurant is fully staffed for the season.
Other aspects of the business that had to be adjusted last year were the normally full schedule of live music and the summer concert series.
“We were able to continue to have music last year, but focused more on duos and trios rather than bands,” Pietch said. “We placed tables where the dance floor normally is to enforce social distancing. We have local artists lined up for the summer season, but we’ll just have to see what this season brings as far as capacity.”
For now, locals can take advantage of the SeaWitch’s off-season daily specials through the end of March. The restaurant is still serving a slightly scaled back menu, but plans to add a few new items once the season is in full swing.
The SeaWitch at 227 Carolina Beach Avenue North, and is currently open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to close and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m. It will soon be open Tuesdays as well.
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