The team that owns Shinsei in North Dallas is opening another restaurant, this one with a seafood theme. Called Lovers Seafood and Market, it's a new eatery from Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing that will open in March in the former Rex's Seafood location, at 5200 W. Lovers Ln. at Inwood Road.
Rathbun and Fearing have assembled a crack team of familiar faces, beginning with chef Aaron Staudenmaier, a former chef at Abacus who left in 2012 to lead the kitchen at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg.
Staudenmaier's menu includes soups such as gumbo and clam chowder, and shareable starters such as Thai-style mussels and clams, ahi tuna poke, and Cajun fried oysters.
Larger plates include fish and chips, a Cajun roasted half-chicken, and fish tacos. Sandwiches include a burger, lobster roll, crispy hot chicken sliders, and po’boys.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily. In addition to sit-down dining, the restaurant will feature a full bar and a market selling seafood and shellfish for customers to take home.
Other hires include pastry chef Ty Bohoney, general manager Max Heidenreich, and assistant manager DJ Andre 7.
Bohoney is a classically trained chef with extensive experience in restaurants and catering. His most recent position was with Kent Rathbun Concepts, where he created menus and executed pastries and breads for full-service catered events.
Heidenreich represents another Rathbun family reunion — he started at Abacus and opened the original Jasper's in Plano.
DJ Andre 7 is a popular DJ, actor/model, and fitness trainer who will bring "a fun and energetic vibe to the restaurant," says a release.
Designed by Greg O'Neal of Philosophy Design, the space seats 79 and is adorned with shiplap lumber walls, hemp ropes, and herringbone millwork, plus a wood stain patina to give the restaurant a modern twist on coastal comfort and elegance.
An aquamarine bar sits beneath a sea of crystal liquor decanters, retrofitted into a beautiful lighting feature. Outside, a boardwalk-inspired patio can accommodate an additional 40 diners.
Rathbun and Fearing say they couldn't be more excited about their new concept.
"This is our neighborhood, and when the opportunity presented itself, we knew we had to jump on it," they say. "We’re looking forward to providing our friends, neighbors, and the entire city with great food, drinks, and the freshest market catches in a fun and relaxed setting."