Saturday, June 22

Bounce Sporting Club springs to life at Delray Beach Market after long wait

The long-awaited new sports bar in Delray Beach is making its debut just in time for the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival celebrations.

Bounce Sporting Club is having its soft opening Saturday a year behind schedule and at a different location than originally conceived.

But Cole Bernard, a partner with Brandit Hospitality Group, which manages Bounce Delray Beach, told on Friday that it’s been worth the wait.

Bounce had originally planned to open at the new Atlantic Crossing development on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Federal Highway, which sits outside the city’s entertainment district. But because Bounce intended to stay open after midnight, it required special approval to do so.

After some back-and-forth between city leaders and residents concerned about the noise, Bounce promised concessions in the hopes of gaining an exemption.

In the end, it wasn’t necessary.

Ahead of a final vote, Bernard and his team announced in October 2022 that they were scrapping their plans to open at Atlantic Crossing and would instead relocate to the Delray Beach Market.

It was a win-win for Bounce and the Delray Beach Market, which opened in April 2021 amid much fanfare, including a special appearance by Gov. Ron DeSantis for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

WATCH: DeSantis makes surprise appearance at Delray Beach Market in 2021

Gov. DeSantis makes surprise appearance at grand opening of Delray Beach Market

Touted as the largest food hall in the state at the time of its opening, the Delray Beach Market struggled to find a steady crowd as COVID-19 took its toll on food prices and staffing.

So, when Menin Development, the Delray Beach-based company behind the food hall, found an opportunity to attract an anchor tenant, a deal was struck to lure Bounce to 33 SE Third Ave., just a few blocks southwest of Atlantic Crossing.

The decision was key because the Delray Beach Market is within the designated entertainment district.

Suddenly, the original concept Bernard and company had for Bounce was realized all over again.

Bringing in a tenant as large as Bounce meant having to temporarily shutter the Delray Beach Market, which closed in January 2023 to undergo an overhaul.

Although the rest of the market remains closed, Bounce will finally get to show off what Bernard calls its “elevated, premiere sports viewing.”

That includes a television chandelier wrapped around an island bar and a giant LED wall about 40 feet wide.

“It’s massive,” he said.

Bernard said the bank of TVs will feature graphics or games able to accommodate multiple games at once, like the upcoming NCAA tournament, or one featured game, like a Super Bowl.

“When people see it, they’re going to be like, ‘Wow,'” Bernard said.

Bounce, which opened its first location in Chicago 20 years ago and later expanded to New York, will also try to entice boxing and UFC fans by emphasizing televised fights.

There’s also a full dining menu, which Bernard said is “not your typical sports bar menu.”

Oh, and then there’s the matter of operating hours. Bounce will be open until 2 a.m., which was a point of contention at its former location.

Bernard said that “family focus is a big thing for us,” but it will be restricted to 21 and older “probably after 10 p.m.” when most children are asleep.

While Bounce will anchor the north end of the Delray Beach Market, New Jersey-based Greek restaurant Lefkes Estiatorio will anchor the south end. Construction of Lefkes Estiatorio is underway with a planned opening in the fall.

Also coming soon to the Delray Beach Market is Good Night John Boy, a 1970s disco-themed dance club, Jeff Sussman, president of Boca Raton-based Sussman Restaurant Brokerage, told Sussman also said he’s working with an old-school famous New York Italian restaurant that he’s not yet at liberty to reveal.

Sussman said he expects the Delray Beach Market to fully open again in 2025.

“Hopefully sooner than later,” he said.

Bounce will open Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at noon. Bernard said the grand opening will follow in April.

For Bernard, the Delray Beach opening is the fulfillment of a dream years in the making.

“This was the best move for us by far,” he said. “It was a blessing in disguise.”

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