Downtown restaurants take advantage of SunFest crowds

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Sunfest 2022 kicked off in downtown West Palm Beach on Thursday.

“Oh, this is going to be crazy, this is the first SunFest since COVID, so we’re very excited,” said Paige Dorsten, bartender and shift manager at 123 Datura.

The music festival is expected to draw more than 175,000 people to town, and businesses are expecting large crowds.

“I’m waiting to see our line up to the fence here to get some tacos because this is honestly one of the best in Clematis,” said Jennifer Gaudreau, cook at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila at the end of Clematis. Street.

The restaurant is located just outside the main entrance to SunFesst and has only been open for 3 months.

“The service industry has actually improved a lot over last year. I’ve seen a lot more people who are comfortable going out, going out at night, having fun and forgetting about all the madness of the past two years,” Gaudreauline said.

The taco-tequila show is counting on SunFest’s exposure to put their Fort Lauderdale-Miami-based business on the map in West Palm Beach.

“We know a lot of times people will want to get out and grab something quick so they can get back to the show, so we have our specials, our food comes out in minutes, so we’re ready,” said Sasha Dominguez, a food manager and drinks for Bodega Taqueria y Tequila. “We’re trying to see how things work out and expecting there to be multiple rushes throughout the day. We’re prepared, we’ve got plenty of food and plenty of booze.”

For other companies, like 123 Datura, which has been around for 5 years, SunFest weekends mean triple sales.

“Yeah, it’s been two years since we’ve seen these crowds man. I’m excited, I think everyone is excited, I’m hoping for a big weekend. It should be a crazy party like all the days,” said Tyler Vanacore, general manager of 123 Datura.

The bar said it was ready to welcome SunFest crowds before, during and after the show.

“Since we’re also right on the doorstep of SunFest, they’ll stop here. Instead of having a $15 beer, they can have a $6 beer and they can get to know the staff and the atmosphere. that we have,” Dorsten said.

123 Datura said they survived the pandemic thanks to the community, and now they are ready to celebrate the return of SunFest together.

“You know, just seeing everyone having fun all day, like I said, from the moment we open the doors until we close them, it’s a good feeling to see everyone these people,” Vanacore said.

Many restaurants also have extended hours for SunFest.

David H. Henry