Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The Panini Café on Pacific set for Spring 2023 opening

A new concept sandwich shop is coming to
Downtown Wildwood next Spring, bringing a fresh approach with plans to maximize its proximity to Byrne Plaza.

The Panini Café on Pacific will take over the former home of the 3421 Island Grill (which operated just one season) at Pacific & Cedar Avenues, directly across from the area’s communal gathering and events hub. 

“We feel this is something unique and different to bring to Wildwood, and the time was right to take the plunge,” explained Shawn McGuigan, who along with friend and co-owner John Deluca hail from Northeast Philadelphia. “As we like to say, this won’t be your ordinary sandwich shop.

“Paninis will be our main focus, of course. We’re going to have about 17 different panini sandwiches, with a lot of variety. This includes breakfast paninis, along with lunch and dinner, and additional menu items with plenty of favorites.”

A panini is, essentially, a sandwich made with Italian bread, like ciabatta or focaccia, generally served warm after being grilled or toasted. 

According to McGuigan, the shop will be open daily during the summer months, with extended hours and activities on Tuesday and Thursday nights, when Byrne Plaza hosts its Free Family Movies and Music in the Plaza events, respectively. 

“We’re looking forward to being a part of the community and working with the events at Byrne Plaza and staying open for them,” he said. “On Tuesday nights, we’re thinking of doing a special kids’ meal package before the movies. On Thursdays, we’re looking to do a BYOB type of thing, say from 4 to 7. We’ll have different acoustic guitar players, so if people want to bring a bottle of wine, we think it’ll be a cool atmosphere for everyone.

“On Saturdays, we plan to open earlier than usual for the [Downtown Wildwood Farmer’s Market], so we’re really looking forward to being a part of the whole scene.”

The Panini Café on Pacific will have indoor seating for 21 people, with outdoor tables able to accommodate about 20.

A soft opening is being planned for April, with a grand opening event set for Memorial Day Weekend 2023. The shop will be open seven days a week starting June 17.

A sneak peek, however, is coming soon…

“If all goes well, we’ll be opening up for the Christmas parade and event at Byrne Plaza the next day (December 2 & 3),” McGuigan said. “We won’t have paninis yet, but we’ll do coffee, fries, maybe some kind of pastry. It’ll be a good way to introduce ourselves and get the word out.”

The Panini Café on Pacific is in the process of putting together its staff and is looking to hire cooks, counter help, cleaners and delivery drivers. Those interested can apply at www.paninicafeww.com.

For additional info and updates, follow the shop on Facebook.

(Photos courtesy of Chris Martin, Wildwood Pizza Tour)

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