Reporting Sara Pelissero
Perhaps Oceanaire’s general manager described the new place best, “The way I look at it is it’s 1940s, meets 1970s, meets The Jetsons.”
The long-time favorite Oceanaire Seafood Room is now open at its downtown Minneapolis location, right off 6th Street and Nicollet Mall — after spending 12 years in its previous spot, tucked away inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Construction broke ground in July but things didn’t really gear up until October to transform the former M&S Grill into this new, swanky space.
“Everything was gutted and almost everything is brand new. From the wood to the floor, everything is brand new. There’s nothing that we kept,” said Jake Uttich, general manger.
The new location officially opened on Jan. 9 — and so far, the reception has been wonderful, Uttich said.
“We’ve been packed just about every single night,” he said. “Things have been going really well. People are really into the ambiance.”
Uttich describes the former location, stashed away inside the Hyatt, as “the place to be 10 years ago.” Making the move to a street level spot obviously brings a lot more accessibility and visibility, he said.
Adding to that downtown presence, they’ll be starting lunch service on Jan. 30 (beginning at 11:30 a.m.) and will unveil a 20-table patio, once the weather cooperates.
Uttich said the biggest upgrade to the restaurant was the bar, which wasn’t as much of a focus at the previous location as it is now. The long, sleek bar is the first thing you notice upon entering — with a beautiful slab of granite, 12 bar tables with snake-skinned seating and warm blue lighting throughout.
Beyond the fresh, new look, Uttich said the transformed location has given the restaurant a new feel and an invigorating breath of fresh air.
“We’re excited. We have the same great staff, with a fresh management team and we’re just so excited,” he said. “Everyone has just a really good vibe about the new place — and that’s what we’re hearing from the industry, too.”
The Oceanaire Seafood Room is located at 50 S. 6th St. in downtown Minneapolis. For reservations, menus and more, check out their website.