More Seafood for Dallas

California seafood restaurant splashes onto Dallas' landlocked shores

California seafood restaurant splashes onto Dallas' landlocked shores

Water Grill
Seafood is on the menu at Water Grill. Photo courtesy of Water Grill

A seafood restaurant concept from California called Water Grill is coming to Dallas, into a new office tower on McKinney Avenue, just north of Klyde Warren Park.

Water Grill is part of a seafood-centric hospitality group called King's Seafood Company. Founded in Costa Mesa, California, by cousins Sam and Jeff King, King's operates six restaurant concepts, including King's Fish House, which has 11 locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona; 555 East in Long Beach; Lou & Mickey's in San Diego; Pier Burger on the Santa Monica Pier; and Fish Camp in Huntington Beach.

Water Grill has branches in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Diego; Dallas will be the fourth. It's being built on the street level of 1920 McKinney Ave., an 11-story office and retail project one block from Klyde Warren Park. The building is scheduled to be finished in early 2016.

King's Seafood Company CEO Sam King notes in a release that the pro-business spirit that makes Dallas what it is. "We chose Dallas because of its global culture, upscale dining landscape and business-friendly environment," he says.

The menu will include oysters — which the release calls "the briny bivalve" — with up to 18 varieties, plus live sea urchin, lobster and crab. The restaurant will feature an exhibition kitchen and sea water tanks that will display a seasonal assortment of live shellfish including crab, prawns and spiny lobsters. A whole fish "program" allows guests to select from a seasonal assortment of fresh fish cooked in their choice of preparation styles.

The decor is "refurbished ship," with rustic woods and nautical accents. The release says that the wood used for the flooring, beams and walls will be from reclaimed 100-year-old barns, many sourced within 500 miles of Dallas. "Local wood," who knew?

A central copper bar top will anchor the space, with 20 local beers on tap, 35 wines by the glass and "hand-crafted" cocktails incorporating locally sourced produce — which in Dallas' case means cocktails with turnips?

A private dining room and 500-bottle working wine cellar will create an intimate space for 14 to 16 guests.