Wilmington Riverfront Bakery plans Friday 'soft opening,' Santa Fe Grill coming in July


Patricia Talorico

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many new restaurateurs and food establishment owners to tweak plans on opening their businesses.

We recently checked in with some operators who had scheduled openings this spring. This is what they had to say:

300 block of Justison Street, Wilmington Riverfront

In February, Margo Gorschkova and Jeff Schwarz began refurbishing a 1,600-square-foot site on Justison Street, next to Riverfront Pets, for a French-style bakery. 

The building, across from the Constitution Yards beer garden, is owned by The Buccini/Pollin Group.

Gorschkova said Riverfront Bakery would be closer to a European-style patisserie with a variety of small-batch pastries made fresh daily, but it would not sell breads.

Schwarz said there would be seating for 24 people inside, as well as high top tables and benches. They also plan on having tables on the sidewalk.

The couple had hoped to open by May, but the coronavirus caused them to change the date. Recently, the couple had been looking to hire bakers through the Indeed.com website. 

In an email late Thursday, Gorschkova told Delaware Online/The News Journal the couple plans to have a "soft opening" on Friday, June 19.

No more information was available.

2000 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington

Javier Acuna, president of the Hakuna Hospitality Group, talked to Delaware Online/The News Journal in January and said he had planned to bring back his Santa Fe Mexican Grill, which operated for several years off Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington.

The restaurant had been in the former Galleria Shoppes off Pennsylvania Avenue near Union Street. It was housed in a space next to the original site of Michael Christopher's salon, which has relocated to Greenville.

The 38,000-square-foot Galleria retail center near the Little Italy neighborhood was demolished in 2017 by property owner Angela Tsionas of Tsionas Management. 

In its place is a $40 million, six-story structure that will house shops and luxury apartments topped by a rooftop swimming pool and patio. 

Santa Fe will be on the ground floor of the building. The restaurant will have seating for 215 people, both inside and on an outdoor patio.

In a June 18 Facebook post, Acuna said Santa Fe would be opening in late July.

The restaurant is currently hiring hosts, servers, bartenders, bussers and food runners. A job fair will be held at the new site on June 29. Email resumes to lauren@hakunahospitalitygroup.com.

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