Following years of planning, construction is set to be completed on a cutting-edge, coastal cuisine restaurant featuring rooftop dining on the waterfront in historic downtown Beaufort. Moonrakers is a state-of-the-art 254-seat, upper-casual dining, full-service restaurant with an additional 90-seat rooftop dining and bar lounge area located at 326 Front St. on the Beaufort waterfront. The restaurant will focus on an American-Coastal menu with a twist of Caribbean influence.

“Moonrakers will be a dining destination where you’ll always know you are going to get friendly, neighborly service, along with excellent food,” said Moonrakers Managing Partner John Stephens. “We will feature a captivating dining room and bar overlooking the waterfront on the ground floor including 14-foot open ceilings, display kitchen, custom mural, acoustical sails, dedicated wine wall and a wood fired brick oven. Our comfortable décor is centered around an inviting, light and airy coastal theme atmosphere featuring amazing original artwork by artist Sharon Bass and sounds of local musicians for entertainment.”

The ground floor includes an attraction of open-air dining space on and/or above the waterfront overlooking the coastal waterway. Stephens said the second floor is comprised of open spaces catering to larger group events accommodating up to 110 guests.

A “moonraker” is a rectangle sail flown at the uppermost height of the mast of a three-mast, 17th-century ship. They are unusually small sails that would be added primarily for speed. “With Moonrakers’ elevated Sky Deck at 35 feet, the concept name is appropriate and represents an important aspect of what the restaurant experience has to offer,” Stephens said.

The Sky Deck on the uppermost level is sure to be a focal point of everyone from the street and seaward. Comprised of a combination of dining, bar and comfortable lounge seating, patrons will enjoy outstanding views of the Town of Beaufort’s Historical District along Front Street to the north, east and west. Southerly, guests enjoy the view overlooking the waters of Taylor’s Creek and the wild ponies grazing on Town Marsh

Following the soft opening scheduled for Tuesday, May 29, Moonrakers will be open seven days a week. The restaurant’s menu will be inspired from different countries’ specialties and appeal to a diverse clientele, changing every season while keeping the favorites. In addition, Moonrakers will offer an extensive wine list and drink menu. During the favorable weather days and busy summer months, local patrons and seasonal guests sitting outside on the waterfront deck and rooftop areas will enjoy the waterways in this fun, casual gathering place-type atmosphere.

“Our management team is comprised of individuals whose backgrounds consist of more than a half-century of experience in food, restaurant, catering and hospitality management,” he said. “We have hired the best people available, training, motivating and encouraging them, and thereby retaining the friendliest most efficient staff possible. This restaurant is a dream come true for myself and our team.”

For additional information, www.moonrakersbeaufort.com.

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