Openings and Closings

Serve Yourself Craft Beer by the Bottle at Beer Trade Co., Now Open in Delray Beach

A new beer bar known as the Beer Trade Co. has opened in downtown Delray Beach, separating itself from all the other beer-peddling bars with a casual, serve-yourself theme.

Owners Gene Playter and Chris Sanchez traveled extensively, researching similar concepts to bring to South Florida. Playter, who opened Gratify Gastropub in West Palm Beach, has more than 20 years' experience in the restaurant industry. The Beer Trade is his third restaurant after working for the Breakers in Palm Beach and Goose Island Brewing in Chicago.

"When I closed Gratify, I wanted to open something unique and decided to travel around the country a bit to get inspired," said Playter. "I came across a little market in North Carolina that caught my eye, and I loved the idea so much that I went back three days in a row. I knew it would need tweaking. It was a bit more of a convenience store with a deli. I wanted something that had a touch of refinement but retained the casual comfort that I like."

When he returned to Florida, Playter met with Sanchez, who shared his vision and had similar industry experience working with area establishments including Cabana El Rey in West Palm Beach and Pete Rose's Cafe in Boynton Beach. They chose Delray Beach after spotting the quaint spot located off NE Fourth Avenue, just north of Atlantic Avenue's downtown area and east of Pineapple Grove.

The casual bar and restaurant offers an extensive selection of craft beers by the bottle, as well as small production wines, all on an honor system. As Riverside Market in Fort Lauderdale, patrons can help themselves to any bottled beer in the case. There's no bartender, so it truly is help yourself. The small interior space has already become the local sports bar, with four TVs and several communal tables. There's also a large covered outdoor patio that boasts two TVs and casual, lounge-style seating, as well as several high-tops.

In addition to the beer and wine, a small kitchen churns out a limited menu of appetizers, a few salads, and several larger dishes. Choose from beer-marinated chicken wings, house-made roasted and stuffed jalapeños, or hummus ($8 to $9). Chicken tenders, grilled cheese on Texas toast, and pulled pork sliders with jalapeño red cabbage slaw are perfect for soaking up all that beer ($8 to $12).

The Beer Trade Co. is located at 145 NE 4th Ave. in Delray Beach. Visit the Facebook page, or call 561-808-7304.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.