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Bluewater Avalon to open on Santa Catalina Island
Newport Beach, California (February 4, 2013)
Local seafood restaurant owner-operators Jim Ulcickas and Rick Staunton will open Bluewater Avalon Seafood Restaurant on Santa Catalina Island off Southern California in spring 2013.
Ulcickas and Staunton, who established Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant on the docks in Newport Beach’s Cannery Village in 1996 at the historic site of Sea Shanty and Delaney’s, signed a lease with Santa Catalina Island Company (SCICO) for a 6,900-square-foot indoor/outdoor space in the historic Avalon waterfront building that once served as the arrival and departure point for the SS Avalon and SS Catalina steamers.
Bluewater Avalon will debut in May 2013 following a restoration by SCICO of the historic structure. Ulcickas and Staunton will create a unique, Catalina-inspired seafood restaurant showcasing the freshest seafood and shellfish with an environmentally responsible flair. Plans call for a 3,900-square-foot dining room, 3,000-square-foot patio, working clock tower and other features that will make it a landmark in Avalon.
“We’re delighted to bring our commitment to local, sustainably caught seafood to Catalina Island,” said Ulcickas. “We’ve been fishing the waters off Avalon for years and as avid boaters, we see the move to the Island is a natural. We look forward to becoming an even closer part of the local community.”
Bluewater Avalon’s menu will offer up to 25 varieties of fresh seafood and shellfish. Other restaurant highlights include a kid’s and small-plates menu, outdoor patio, full bar, retail fish market and weekday happy hours. An annual calendar of seasonal seafood specials and monthly tasting and wine-pairing events will cultivate a local following.
To date, more than 90% of Bluewater’s seafood offerings are sustainably caught or farmed – among the highest of any seafood restaurant in California. Every seafood item purchased is audited to verify its “sustainability/environmental status” by either the Aquarium of the Pacific Seafood for the Future program or Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, or is sourced from approved fisheries of the World Wildlife Fund’s Marine Stewardship Council.
Rick Staunton operates the fishing vessel, Pilikia, which provides Bluewater customers with the freshest, most sustainably caught seafood possible. Fishing off the coast of Avalon, Captain Sean Burke targets only mature fish without the use of nets or long lines, harpooning the freshest most humanely harvested local swordfish.
Photo credit: Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce