Hello Sandbox friends! With the warmth of the holidays giving way to the snow, ice, and frigid wind of January in New England, we wanted to share an important update on our plans for Sandbox Beach Grill.
At heart, Sandbox Beach Grill stands for the proposition that we don’t need to “go somewhere” to find our happy place. Happiness is a mindset that can be fueled by what we have already right now. The choice to stay present. To be grateful. To be kind. To be connected. All the wisdom of the ages reflects these basic tenants, and that’s what Sandbox Beach Grill was built for—to combine hospitality anchored in these principles with the encouragement that happiness is something you can have right where you are, and you can take it to go. More than ever, we believe in the value of the brand proposition and are excited to keep building it.
We are also mindful of the important lessons from our 2023 proof of concept and have reflected with humility on the challenges a year-round “beach grill” faces with New England seasonality patterns, including weather and consumer preferences. We learned a lot in Newtown and worked very hard to take those learnings and get a little better every day at delivering the guest experience we set out to create. We are truly grateful for the support, feedback, and encouragement our many friends have given us.
After careful consideration, we have begun actively evaluating potential locations in warm weather destination markets, including in South Florida, and hope to open the doors to our first new location in 2025. In the future, we may also explore seasonal waterfront locations in other areas, including in the New England region. We are excited to start our next chapter and continue the Sandbox Beach Grill journey!
Unfortunately, we have also determined that our Newtown location is not the right fit for a year-round Sandbox Beach Grill. Make no mistake, we believe the venue is amazing, with multiple large dining areas, a terrific second floor private event and catering space with its own bar, multiple awesome cocktail and dining patios, beautiful facilities, plenty of parking, additional development opportunities, and a prime location on a busy state road with more than 12,000 cars passing by every day. Most importantly, it has an amazing hometown community committed to its local businesses and ready to support them. The Newtown location will make a wonderful home for the right year-round brand/business/local amenity, and we look forward to cheering them on.
In the weeks ahead, Aurora Hospitality will be evaluating potential transaction opportunities for the Newtown location of Sandbox Beach Grill. We are not in a hurry, so if the right brand/partner/operator is not in place for Summer, we plan to move ahead with some design tweaks based on feedback we have received and return to the location for another amazing Sandbox summer, while we continue working on the guest experience, exploring potential transactions, and moving forward with our longer term plans to develop Sandbox Beach Grill in year-round, warm weather destination markets. No matter the path ahead, we will continue sharing updates when we have them so stay tuned!
A final note. If you purchased a gift card for Sandbox Beach Grill that has not been used, please know that the gift card will be honored no matter what the future holds for the Newtown location. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching a picture of the gift card and request a refund now for the unused balance, which will be promptly processed to the credit card it was purchased with.
We are grateful for your support! Stay tuned for more updates!