Seamore’s, a casual-dining seafood chain based in New York City, is building its first restaurant outside of its home market in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Clarendon, Va., and it’s designing another location in Darien, Conn., CEO Jay Wainwright told Restaurant Hospitality.
He said the D.C.-area restaurant would open “in August, probably,” and he’s currently looking for a chef from the area to work with the region’s seafood suppliers.
The Darien location is likely to open in spring of 2023, Wainwright said.
Seamore’s was founded in 2015 as a restaurant focused on offering sustainably caught seafood, mostly from the New York City area. A centerpiece of each restaurant is its Landing Board, which indicates what fish is available during each meal period.
The menu has since expanded to include sustainably farmed fish and shrimp, including local steelhead. Wainwright and founder Michael Chernow have said aquaculture is an essential part of the conversation around preserving the wildlife in our oceans.
Menu items at Seamore’s include the Reel Deal, which features guests’ choice of a fish from the Landing Board and seasonally changing vegetable side dishes and choice of sauce.
Higher-calorie items such as fish & chips and a new fried Buffalo shrimp are available, too, and its churro ice cream sandwich is a very popular dessert.
Much of the New York City restaurants’ fish comes from nearby Long Island Sound, but the offerings in Clarendon will be different, Wainwright said.
“It’s really important that we’re connecting with a different supply chain in Clarendon than we are here in New York City,” he said. “So that’s what’s really exciting. We take the overall package of this brand and then we’re going to plug in a different set of seafood. We will have much more local Chesapeake/Potomac-based seafood.”
Seamore’s most recent new restaurant is on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, which opened in January during the surge of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
“I thought maybe this was the worst decision I’d ever made, opening in the middle of omicron,” he said. “but this restaurant’s been a home run since day one. It’s legitimately awesome.”
Other locations have struggled, he acknowledged, including the ones in Midtown Manhattan and at Brookfield Place in the financial district.
A Seamore’s in the tourism-driven Manhattan neighborhood of Nolita has closed.
“It has not been an easy winter,” Wainwright said, but he added that he’s optimistic about the future.
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