Changing Faces : Delray Beach Establishments Respond to City’s Growth

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By Nicole Danna The Pineapple Staff Writer It’s no secret — especially for native Floridians — that Delray Beach has changed dramatically in the past few years. What was once a small-town downtown street full of mom-and-pop shops and a few quaint dining options has become a trendy, hip destination with dozens of shops, restaurants, and bars. As downtown Delray Beach continues to grow, those same shops, restaurants, and bars that once existed during its less-glitzy days are now giving way to vibrant new concepts and high-end names. Among them: The Nutrition Cottage, one of South Florida’s oldest family-owned and -operated natural health food stores. Formerly located off Atlantic Avenue in the heart of downtown Delray Beach, the store has permanently moved to its 25-year-old Boynton Beach location as a result of too much growth. The decision to move the Delray Beach location — a popular lunch destination for many in the area thanks to a booming juice bar and prepared foods section at the back of the store — was the result of rising costs associated with operating a business in the city’s growing downtown area, according to owner Marc Stowe. The Nutrition Cottage opened in Delray Beach in 1976. The Boynton Beach store, which opened 25 years ago, was a second location. Today, you can find all the same products at the Boynton store located at 1815 S. Federal Hwy., including supplements, vitamins, nutritional counseling services, organic health and beauty products, books, and natural household products. There is also a licensed nutritionist on-site who provides private counseling by appointment, as well as a section offering prepared foods and a juice bar. Call the Nutrition Cottage at 561-734-4626 for more info. Another long-time Delray Beach establishment — and one of the area’s few night clubs — also logged its final weekend in operation last month. Delux, owned by the Subculture management group, closed its doors to begin renovation on a new concept and reopening in September as Honey. Delux has occupied the space once known as 32 Degrees — and the Back Room Blues Club before that — for more than a decade, first opening its doors in December 2001. According to SubCulture’s Scott Frielich, Delux had a successful and long-lived run in downtown Delray Beach, hosting dozens of memorable events and special guests including the Miami Heat, and Gwen Stefani with No Doubt. The decision to rebrand the concept was made, in part, to stay in-step with the positive changes occurring throughout downtown, says Frielich, a city that has seen explosive growth in the past several years. “With the shift of trends in the nightclub industry, we felt it was time to take the space to the next level,” said Frielich. “We still have the same team in place that brought you Delux, but the new space will incorporate a lot of what we learned from our experience over the years.” Honey will be a mature, sophisticated haunt. The team is currently working with one of the industry’s top designers to launch what Frielich terms a “sexy, intimate, and beautiful club” where music, service and atmosphere will come together for a totally new experience unlike any other in downtown Delray Beach. Don’t expect to find just another “high energy” late night club. Instead, the space will offer expanded hours and a more intimate social atmosphere — a place to mingle, mix and enjoy a few drinks and dancing, added Frielich. In addition, the team behind Honey has enlisted the help of mixologist, Angela Dugan — winner of the New Times’ 2014 “best bartender” distinction — to help create a unique and tasteful cocktail menu. “And the music will definitely be an evolution from Delux,” said Frielich. “It will be a cutting-edge, modern approach to club music, and all three partners have a completely different vision on what they want for sound, so it will be fun to see how each of us blends it all together.”