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The Marriott Hotel’s Drift will bring some al fresco lounge flavor to Boca Center when it opens in October in the courtyard of the dining, retail and office-space center.
In addition to misting fans to bring some coolness (literally) to the horseshoe-shaped bar and surrounding seating, there will be craft cocktails, DJs, live music and shareable plates of tropical tapas.
That Floribbean-flavored cuisine will come from the kitchen of Sonrisa (Spanish for “smile”), a newish restaurant that fully opened earlier this summer, replacing a nondescript Café 5150.
“We wanted to offer [dishes] that people expect in South Florida,” explains Ron Wichowski, area general manager of Marriott Hotels. “Our executive chef, Moises Hernandez, is from Nicaragua, so he’s great for Latin food. And another chef supervisor, he’s from Jamiaca, so he brings that Jamaican Caribbean flavor.”
Drift will have about 20 seats around the bar and about another surrounding 40 seats. Previously, the space was a private patio for the hotel’s M Club membership.
“It was really an underutilized area,” Wichowski adds.
That area is on the east end of Boca Center’s courtyard, which is bordered by Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, Tap 42 Craft Kitchen & Bar and Copperfish Kitchen.
“I could see people…stop somewhere for dinner and end the night there at the lounge,” says Cassie McCrain, a managing director of Barings Real Estate, which now owns and operates Boca Center. “[Drift’s] a great compliment with what we see coming into the Boca Center.”
She adds, “The [dining] really does activate that courtyard a lot. [Taco] Tuesday night can be packed. Copperfish opened in July, in the middle of the pandemic, and has done extremely well in that location. [Those restaurants stay] busy in-season and outside of season.”
Wichowski says Marriott is betting on that, saying the Boca Center’s courtyard restaurants are almost too busy.
“Especially on weekends. [They’ve] been losing business because people don’t want to wait. We’d like to partner with the new owners [Barings] to talk to them about bringing something to the center stage. I’d like to partner with the owners of the shops…and maybe bring live music to the whole group. So hopefully it can be an impressive experience across the board.”
- Drift hasn’t opened yet, but the restaurant Sonrisa inside the Marriot is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center is located at 5150 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton.
- For more information, call 561-392-4600 or go to Marriott.com/pbibr.