Bluewater Grill Opens Today on the Santa Barbara Beachfront

Destination restaurant specializes in sustainable seafood in a rebuilt landmark lighthouse at the foot of Stearns Wharf

Restaurant News Resource

Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara has opened on the Santa Barbara beachfront as the newest Central Coast destination for the freshest sustainable seafood, monthly chef's tastings, local winery pours and neighborhood happy hours.

Starting today, Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara serves lunch, dinner and small plates daily on two floors of a rebuilt landmark lighthouse structure at the foot of Stearns Wharf previously occupied by Rusty's Pizza and the Castagnola Lobster House. Features of the elaborately reconstructed building at 15 East Cabrillo Blvd. include an oyster bar, dining counter overlooking an open kitchen and an upstairs dining patio and inside/outside bar offering spectacular beach views, Santa Barbara County wine flights and locally caught seafood purchased directly from local commercial fisherman.

Leaders in sustainability, owners Richard Staunton, James Ulcickas and a group of local investors will source much of their seafood and shellfish from area fisherman as part of a long-term commitment to sustainability certification by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other organizations. Staunton and Ulcickas regularly fish the Channel Islands from the restaurant's Pilikiaswordfish harpoon boat to humanely catch pristine-quality swordfish.

"We've been working to bring our message of seafood sustainability to Santa Barbara for more than a decade, and are delighted this day is finally here," said Ulcickas. "Since all of us in the Bluewater family are fans of the sea, it is in our best interests to preserve the wonders of fresh seafood, both simply grilled and in expert chef's creations, for future generations."

Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara is supporting Round it Up America, a nonprofit organization that encourages restaurant patrons across the country to "round-up" their purchases to the newest dollar to support local causes including Thomas Fire and Flood relief.

"All of us in the Bluewater family look forward to doing what we can in 2018 to come alongside residents, firefighters and others in our local community impacted by the disasters," said Ulcickas.

Chanel Ducharme, former chef de cuisine at the Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara, is executive chef, and Colin Lohenry, part of the team at the original Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach's Cannery Village, is Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara general manager.

Reflecting its setting in Santa Barbara's historic Waterfront, adjacent to the Funk Zone, Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara blends an upscale coastal casual theme with subtle references to the founders' ties to the Central Coast. The restaurant regularly reprints its lunch and dinner menus to be able showcase up to 40 varieties of fresh seafood annually, and offers a kid's menu certified by the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell program and a weekday small plates menu of $4, $6 and $8 drink and appetizer specials.

An expected highlight is a year-long calendar of seasonal seafood specials and monthly Chef's Tasting events pairing seafood 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 in other Bluewater neighborhoods.

Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara opens at 11am daily for lunch and dinner, and closes at 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

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