Looks like Oceanaire Seafood Room no longer has to worry its pretty little head over the massive debt and Chapter 11 bankruptcy that has dogged it for the last year or so because it was recently announced that Landry's Restaurants Inc.--the Borg Collective of restaurant groups--has bought the failing chain.
All your restaurant are belong to us ...
$6.6 million--that was the cash payout for the 12 surviving Oceanaire locations (the company shuttered four of its original 16 last July during bankruptcy reorganization, pulling the plug on locations in Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and right here in Seattle). This, plus the assumption of $17 million in debt, makes up the important terms of the deal which will be hashed out for good in a Texas bankruptcy court on April 26. After that formality (which everyone concerned assumes will end in an approval), Landry's will officially assimilate what remains of the small, upscale seafood chain and add it to the 100-odd restaurants it already operates--including the Landry's Seafood House, Rainforest Café (which has a location at Southcenter--Landry's sole holding in the city of Seattle), Chart House and Saltgrass Steak House brands, the Golden Nugget Hotels and Casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada, the restaurant atop the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio (Texas's version of the Space Needle, kinda), a couple aquariums and the fish restaurants inside said aquariums (which include what is possibly the most ironically awful restaurant in the entire United States).
Yeah, you heard me. I said it runs fish restaurants inside aquariums. Start making your jokes now.
As mentioned above, Seattle lost its Oceanaire back in July during the first death throes of the small chain. But in a perfact case of what-comes-around-goes-around, the chef of that Oceanaire location, Kevin Davis, left in order to open the flyfishing and Northwest seafood-themed Steelhead Diner. And when Steelhead proved to be a hit, he went looking for a second location in which to do another seafood concept: Blueacre Seafood. The space he chose? His former home at the corner of 7th and Olive where Oceanaire had just closed.
Blueacre has been up and running for about a month now and, by all reports, seems to be doing just fine. Certainly better than Oceanaire is, in any event. And even though I was something of a fan of Oceanaire and its owner, Terry Ryan, and am sad to see his operation getting gobbled up like this, I'm glad that Oceanaire will likely continue operations in some form or another and that (for now, at least),
the Borg Landry's has its eyes on cities other than Seattle.