Bluewater Boathouse Is A Seafood Delight - Business

Bluewater Boathouse Is A Seafood Delight

by Alessandra Selgi-Harrigan | Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2014 5:20 pm

The Bluewater Boathouse has been a very popular destination since its opening in the beginning of the summer. As diners enter the restaurant it is obvious that seafood rules. A large number of fishing rods take over a wall and black and white photos line the walls. Some depict old Coronado; others are fishing scenes with fishermen and their catch. The well-chosen nautical decor features grey, beige and brown tones. The view from the restaurant is a big draw for diners.

Bluewater Boathouse was built as the boathouse for the Hotel del Coronado and served that purpose for many years. Over the years it was the site of the Coronado Yacht Club and eventually the Chart House chose the spot for its restaurant. 

The location has been a restaurant for a number of years. For the last 14, Coronadan Marty Jensen was the owner of 1887 on the Bay. Rick Ulcickas and Richard Staunton bought the restaurant. The duo own a number of other Bluewater Grill restaurants. The first they opened was in Newport Beach 19 years ago. The other restaurants are located in Phoenix, Tustin, Redondo Beach and Avalon. In January 2015, a new location in Temecula is scheduled to open. The owners have also purchased property in San Marcos and Carlsbad and plan to open two new restaurants there. The Coronado restaurant is the only one that has Boathouse attached to its name due to its location.

All the Bluewater Grill restaurants share about 95 percent of their menu. The Coronado location has a smaller kitchen since it was not built as a restaurant, explained Erin Briggs, assistant general manager and banquet coordinator. The restaurant opened June 1 after a three-week long renovation. The owners plan to close for a few weeks in the middle of January for more renovations and to enlarge the kitchen. Currently the see-through kitchen is next to the bar in the main dining room.

The restaurant prides itself in making fresh sauces and dressings daily and serves fresh caught swordfish harpooned in the waters off Catalina Island by the captain on the owner’s 75-foot boat “Pilikia.” “They harpoon it and bring in the swordfish whenever they catch it,” said Briggs.

Ten fresh seasonal fish are on the menu daily. Apart from the regular menu, diners can chose from the ten daily fish that can be prepared any way - broiled, grilled, blackened, cajun spiced with a choice of two sides (prices range from $ 15.50 to 28.95.)  “We have the freshest fish, we get it daily; we don’t serve frozen fish,” Briggs said.

“We’re so popular lately,” said Briggs who pointed out she had 10 staff members working at the same time in the middle of November and in fact, the restaurant was very busy on a recent Saturday night. Although over the summer many of the customers were tourists, the restaurant aims to attract the locals. “We’re trying to be a place were people come two to three times a week. We want it to be Coronado’s second kitchen where people come to share fish and chips and a cup of soup,” said Briggs. 

Briggs worked for the previous restaurant for six years and she said the business has doubled or tripled compared to before and the prices are more affordable. The new owners have kept most of the previous restaurant’s staff and some of those employees have worked in the same location for 25 years.

Among the more popular appetizers are Ponzu Sashimi Sea Scallops, Calamari Fritti and Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip and Seared Scallops with roasted jalapeño aioli.

The New England Chowder and crab and avocado salad are very popular at Bluewater. The many choices of the restaurants’ specialties include Cedar Plank Salmon (not farm raised) ($27.50), Chipotle Blackened Swordfish ($29.95), Pan Seared Scallops ($23.50) and San Francisco Style Chopping ($25.50.) Prices on the dinner specialty menu range from ($14.75 to $ 49.95.) Three varieties of fish and chips are also available.

Apart from the seafood, the restaurant offers choices of chicken and beef including the Blue Water Burger “An Aussie Classic” crowned with a fried egg ($14.75), Chicken Under a Brick, an herb crusted recipe served with scalloped potatoes, grilled broccolini and asparagus ($16.95) as well as a filet mignon ($34.50).

For dessert diners can choose one of the many delicious options: java mud pie, chocolate lava cake, key lime pie or creme brûlée. The kids’ menu has a variety of heathy choices for $7.95 including fish, shrimp, chicken, steak and salmon as well as pasta, grilled cheese and cheeseburger.

Briggs believes the restaurant can turn a dining experience into a historical event because of the historical building and its sweeping views of the bay and San Diego. 

Briggs’ goal in the near future is to create a “wow” brunch menu to include gourmet skillets. “Something you can’t get anywhere else,” she said.

Many have chosen the restaurant for their parties and Briggs said she has 32 events scheduled in the next 20 days including wedding receptions and Christmas parties.

Bluewater Boathouse is located at 1701 Strand Way. Call (619) 435-0155. Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Hours: 11 a.m. to closing, lunch is served until 3:45 p.m.

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