New craft beer hangout to open in Boca Raton

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By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Delray Beach’s Beer Trade Co. is expanding to Boca Raton this summer.
The popular craft beer hangout is expecting to open its second location sometime in July.
Owner Gene Playter said the new location will have a similar look as the Delray location with a patio and signature self-serve refrigerators.
He said the Boca location will have a bigger kitchen and larger patio, but the concept remains the same.
The concept is based on the honor system and a convenience store. If you’re thirsty, select any beer you want from the refrigerator. Staff is around to take your food order if you get hungry. When you’re finished pay for what you drank and ate.
Playter said the Delray location has been a popular place for craft beer lovers to try new brews. The six refrigerator doors are able to hold 370 beers and he said he is always rotating them so there is something new to try.
Since the restaurant opened a little more than three years ago, he said he estimates there have been about 7,000 different beers served from all over the world.
Beer Trade Co. offers a Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner options as well as beer tastings, beer pairings and other events.
“It’s fun and casual,” he said.
Playter said the food is modeled off a restaurant he previously owned in West Palm Beach, a gastro-pub called Gratify.
He got the idea to open Beer Trade Co. while traveling the country once Gratify closed. He said he was driving through Charlotte, North Carolina looking for a hotel when he saw a bunch of hipsters standing around outside drinking beer.
So, he said he stopped and saw the store was set up like a convenience store and a deli. He said when he returned to South Florida, he took that concept and added the food he liked to serve.
Beer Trade Co. isn’t the only concept Playter is working on. He recently took over 40-year-old Delray staple The Frog. He has renovated the smoking bar to a modern dive bar without smoking.
The bar has new flat screen televisions, live music and daily activities from karaoke to poker.
Since The Frog doesn’t have a kitchen, he said food trucks are on-site to serve up meals for patrons.
For a list of activities at the locations, visit their Facebook pages.