Blue Surf Cafe To Celebrate 10th Anniversary, Add Dinner Service

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jun 19, 2024
Blue Surf Cafe will hold a celebration of its 10th anniversary and a customer appreciation event later this month. (Photo courtesy of Blue Surf Cafe)
Blue Surf Cafe will celebrate its 10th anniversary by hosting a celebration and customer appreciation party on June 29 at its Racine Commons location.

“It has been such a pleasure to be part of the Wilmington community and get to know our customers, see their kids grow up and watch our staff come back to eat with their families and friends over the last 10 years,” said Blue Surf Cafe co-owner Colleen Kochanek. “It seems like every time I am there, I see a regular, a former employee, a neighbor or friend.”

The anniversary celebration and customer appreciation event is open to the public, but owners request attendees RSVP via the restaurant’s website.

The event’s menu will include barbecue chicken, brisket and burnt ends, barbecue sweet potato, pimento mac and cheese, potato salad and cole slaw. Offerings will include plates with two sides and a roll or sandwiches with one side, ranging in price from $12 to $22. There will also be a Carolina BBQ Surf Chip appetizer with pulled pork and Banana Pudding for dessert.

The meal celebrates not only the restaurant’s 10th anniversary but also the return of dinner service to the café starting on July 2. The café, which is currently open for breakfast and lunch, the will relaunch dinner service Tuesday through Saturday until 9 p.m.

Blue Surf Café began as Surf House, a business that current owners Kochanek and Stephanie Norris purchased from their business partners in 2013 and rebranded as Blue Surf Café.

Kochanek and Norris set out to serve scratch-made breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual, coastal-inspired space but have always been best known for breakfast and lunch. Kochanek said dinners had started gaining more momentum shortly before the pandemic, but when the restaurant reopened, they made the decision to focus on breakfast and lunch.

“A lot of our regulars have been asking us when we’re going to reopen for dinner, so it’s exciting to be bringing it back,” Kochanek said.

Kochanek and Norris also own the café’s sister restaurant, Blue Surf Arboretum West, which opened in 2021. The owners sought a second location that would offer a slightly more elevated experience both in terms of the food and the atmosphere. They originally considered building in a lot they owned on N. Fourth Street, but when shown the Arboretum West property, they fell in love with it.

Chef and general manager Jon Webb worked at Surf House before Kochanek and Norris purchased the business and has been with the company, working at both locations, ever since. Grateful for his loyalty and efforts to improve the business, Kochanek and Norris extended the opportunity for Webb to become a partner in the business in 2018.

“Most of our success is due to Jon Webb,” Kochanek said. “He has such talent in creating foods with great flavor combinations that look great. He is also a calm presence in the kitchen, which sometimes is not a calm place, and such a professional when it comes to staff and customers.”

Kochanek said she and her team have always prided themselves on providing a relaxing environment where customers can get a great meal at a fair price.

“We have been excited to see our Blue Surf family grow over the years,” Kochanek said. “We hope to continue to provide a wonderful gathering place for years to come.”
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