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New Cape May-Lewes Ferry partner to revitalize terminal, restaurant
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New Cape May-Lewes Ferry partner to revitalize terminal, restaurant


The once-deserted Ferries to the Statue of Liberty are starting to fill back up and people are back to taking selfies with the Charging Bull statue near Wall Street. Tourists who vanished from New York City's museums, hotels and cultural attractions when the coronavirus pandemic hit a year ago are trickling back in as restrictions loosen.

LOWER TOWNSHIP — Exit Zero Hospitality has been selected to make a number of renovations to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal, the Delaware River and Bay Authority said Wednesday.

Renovations will include the expansion of the patio area of the restaurant, a coffee shop and grab-and-go area and a space for art exhibits.

“In late 2019, we embarked on a path to take our food and retail business to the next level, bringing aboard Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen to operate the Lewes Ferry Terminal concession business,” Heath Gehrke, director of ferry operations for the DRBA, said in a news release. “That partnership has proven to be very successful, and we’re looking to launch a similar effort at our Cape May location. Exit Zero has a loyal brand following, creative menu ideas and a focus on creating a dining destination for families that align perfectly with our goals. We’re looking forward to the start of what we believe will be a very successful partnership.”

Exit Zero owns the Exit Zero Filling Station restaurant and gas station in Cape May and publishes Exit Zero magazine.

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According to the release, Exit Zero is leasing about 12,000 square feet of space in the terminal and 15,500 square feet of patio space. The company is committing $2 million to the effort. The improvements will be done in phases during the offseason, starting with the grab-and-go area.

The restaurant will be rebranded with a new circular bar in the dining room, the release said, and the patio area will be renamed “Ferry Park” and include recreational elements, space for local vendors and landscape additions.

Sunset Lounge, the terminal’s other restaurant, will also undergo renovations and have a focus on seasonal local seafood.

The art space, named The Gallery, will be available for offseason corporate retreat meetings. It also will hold exhibits for regional artists and offer arts-and-crafts classes.

“If you were to create the perfect restaurant location, it would be nestled right on the waterfront, with panoramic sunset views,” Exit Zero owner Jack Wright said. “That’s what the ferry terminal offers. The opportunity to create an exciting new destination in Cape May County was irresistible to us, and we can’t wait to partner with the DRBA on this project.”

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