There is a bittersweet anxiety that courses through one’s veins on Opening Day of the Del Mar Racetrack. But yesterday’s festivities actually turned out to be much less stress/more fun than I had anticipated. I expected insanely long waits in traffic, lots of elbow throws to get through the lines, and an empty wallet at the end of the day. Instead, we were greeted with almost no traffic in the car or on foot, reasonable parking, plenty of standing room and a lot more friendly people than hammered ones.
Then again, we left before the 5th race.
By the time we got to Searsucker for the highly anticipated Grand Opening, men in seersucker suits and ladies in colorful ensembles were slowly trickling into the sunlit back bar. While we sipped on Skinny Jenny’s and the races wound down, people started pouring in by the dozen, packing in the bright patio surrounding the dining room. The newly renovated space had a welcoming, laid back, beachy vibe that had guests in awe throughout the evening.
As daylight faded and hats came off, the lights and music turned up and the crowd really started grooving. The turnout was great, and the new fine dining space seemed to be a big hit among the crowd. The transformation from Burlap to Searsucker took only 6 weeks and was like night and day. Props to Executive Chef Brian Malarkey and new Chef de Cuisine Andy “Dizzle” Phillips for turning hot amazing dishes while the house was packing and bumping (which is not an easy task if you are familiar with the Opening Day crowd).
If last night was any indication of the location’s popularity this summer, business should be pretty good for Malarkey & crew well into the Fall!