cape henlopen state park

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a public meeting to solicit feedback on the potential of a new restaurant at Cape Henlopen State Park Monday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cape Henlopen High School auditorium. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation will share a presentation about the proposal and gather public input on the proposed restaurant which would be located at the north side of the park’s main beach parking lot.

The proposed restaurant came from a publicly bid request for proposal to manage the park’s main beach area concession, which includes amenity rentals such as chairs and umbrellas, with the potential for expanded visitor services. The RFP was spurred by visitor surveys, which showed park users wanted a higher level of food service and improvements to visitor amenities. The Cape Henlopen State Park concession contract was issued for a term of one year, with exclusive rights to negotiate with DNREC for an extension of up to 24 years.

La Vida Hospitality LLC was awarded the contract by DNREC in April to manage the existing main beach food concession. As part of that agreement, there was a provision for researching the feasibility of adding a restaurant and new restrooms, with time set aside allowing both parties to conduct due diligence before any final decisions are made regarding the proposed restaurant.

Additionally, as part of that research, Division of Parks and Recreation staff continue to gather data regarding natural and cultural resources in the area, and seek public input regarding the levels of service provided at the site – such as accessibility, restrooms and improved food service. The upcoming public meeting continues that outreach effort.     

Anyone unable to attend the Dec. 5 public meeting but wanting to give feedback on the proposed restaurant may do so by visiting and selecting “Cape Henlopen Restaurant Proposal” from the Delaware State Parks location drop-down menu.