Mayor Jay Gillian, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian and the Idell family cut a ribbon on Friday to mark the ceremonial opening of the Sunrise Cafe on the 900 block of Asbury Avenue in downtown Ocean City.
The new cafe has been serving breakfast and lunch for a week, and already the popovers, scones, deli sandwiches and the prices are proving popular.
"Our main focus is on quality and low cost year-round," said R.J. Idell, 22, the marketing manager for the cafe and a 2009 graduate of Ocean City High School.
From a two-egg breakfast (with home fries and toast) for $3.50 to a cheesesteak for $6.50, the Sunrise Cafe menu features a variety of affordable fare.
Idell says fresh-baked popovers and scones (blueberry, chocolate chip, vanilla, brown sugar-cinnamon, and lemon) are signature offerings for breakfast. "Sharon's Best" Salad (spinach, craisins and toasted almonds with a sweet vinegar dressing), soups, wings and a grilled-chicken special are some of the lunch favorites.
The cafe features takeout for baked goods, breakfast, lunch and a full-service deli. It includes a breakfast bar.
Idell said the cafe has alway been a dream for his mother, Sharon Idell, who has cooked since she was a little girl. But the new enterprise, he said, is dedicated to the memory of his "Nana," Helen Reid, was an inspiration to the family before passing away last year.
Idell said a portion of future profits will be donated to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund in Reid's name.
Idell's father Bob Idell, owner of the International Floral Exchange, and his sisters, Laura and Lindsay, are also part of the new business. Laura, 24, owns Monkey Bread OCNJ on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
Sunrise Cafe fills the spot of Casa Del Dolce, an Italian restaurant that never reopened after Superstorm Sandy.
Idell said the restaurant had suffered relatively minor damage before they took over.
A bright-yellow coat of paint brings a new feel to the once-dim restaurant, and the Idells are confident that the cafe will be a bright new addition to the downtown community.