Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurants of Newport Beach, Calif.,converted the historic former Hotel Del Coronado boathouse on Coronado Island,from the “1887 on the Bay” restaurant, into a contemporary showplace for hyper-local sustainable seafood and shellfish.
Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill opened in June 2014as the sixth Bluewater restaurant and first in San Diego County, joining Bluewater Grill locations in Newport Beach, Redondo Beach, Tustin, Avalon, Calif., and Phoenix. Designed to be a flagship for the company, the Coronado restaurant will be patterned after an over-the-water Bluewater Avalon that debuted last year on the Avalon waterfront on Santa Catalina Island.
Founded in 1996 with the opening of the first restaurant in Newport Beach’s Cannery Village, Bluewater offers a locally inspired combination of regularly changing menus, tasting and pairing events and happy hours unique to each neighborhood. Bluewater operates their own swordfish boat, “Pilikia”, based in San Diego, which allows them to specialize in locally harpooned swordfish in season.
According to Bluewater co-owner and co-founder Jimmy Ulcickas, he and his partner Rick Staunton long had their eye on a waterfront location in San Diego. He says the realization of obtaining the historic Coronado Boathouse Restaurant (1887 on the Bay), in the cupola-adorned building that has been part of the Hotel Del Coronado since 1887, is a dream come true. Previously, it was the home of the Coronado Yacht Club and The Chart House for more than 30 years.
Steve Ewing, general manager of the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill, comes to Bluewater fromPeohe’s Coronado, where he was GM for four years. Prior to that, he was GM ofKings Fish House Mission Valleyfor eight years and worked for a decade atThe Fish Market.
Erin Briggs, marketing manager for 1887 on the Bay,will serve in a similar capacity at the new restaurant, as well as other employees who made The Boathouse a local favorite.
Consistent with other Bluewater locations in California and Arizona, Bluewater will feature a contemporary fish house theme featuring authentic artifacts collected from Bluewater founders’ years of fishing experience off the coast of Southern California.
The new restaurant will also follow the Bluewater formula of printing new lunch and dinner menus regularly to be able showcase the freshest seafood and shellfish, and offering a separate kid’s menu certified by theNational Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWellprogram and a popular weekday small plates menu of $4, $5 and $6 drink and appetizer specials.
Another highlight will be a year-long calendar of seasonal seafood specials and monthly tasting events which pair seafood and shellfish with hand-selected wines, sakes or specialty draught beers. Hosted the second Tuesday of every month, the events have become a popular monthly diversion for local seafood aficionados and Bluewater Grill’s large fan base.