Rafiki Tiki cafe signs lease at Riviera Beach Marina Event Center

Rafiki Tiki, a restaurant to be owned and operated by a longtime Riviera Beach business owner, is slated to open this fall at the Riviera Beach Marina Event Center.

The cafe will offer both indoor and outdoor dining near the Intracoastal Waterway and will be the first tenant for the event center at Riviera Beach Marina Village, 190 E. 13th St.

The Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency announced the signing on Monday. On July 13, the CRA Board of Commissioners approved a lease for Rafiki Tiki with owner Demetri Solloum.

Solloum operates a sizeable catering business in Riviera Beach, and is the owner of the Citgo gas station on Blue Heron Boulevard.

“It has been our goal from the beginning of this project to provide opportunities for Riviera Beach residents and business owners, and we welcome Mr. Solloum to Marina Village with great enthusiasm,” said Tony Brown, executive director of the Riviera Beach CRA. “We have created a spectacular waterfront destination, and this new establishment will give visitors one more reason to come by and see what we’ve accomplished.”

The operation will include 1,047 square feet of interior space and 1,591 square feet of patio space. Plans call for the café to be open morning through evening, seven days a week. It will feature a relaxed vacation-like atmosphere with cool colors, fresh flowers, live music and tropical drinks. The menu will be inspired by Mediterranean and South Florida influences with a wide variety of international and vegetarian options.

“I’ve been in business in Riviera Beach for more than 25 years, and I can clearly see what this new vision for the Riviera Beach Marina Village will do for this city,” Solloum said.

The first phase of Riviera Beach Marina Village was recently completed with a public investment of $35 million. Highlights include the two-story Marina Event Center and a re-imagined Bicentennial Park. Future plans include a waterfront restaurant row, shops and a permanent year-round public market.

The center’s 4,800-square-foot ballroom, named Newcomb Hall after the demolished previous one-story facility built 1959, is available for lease for meetings, weddings and other events.

The 23-acre site’s development is expected to take about 10 years.

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