Welcome Chef Art Garcia

We're excited to announce Art Garcia as Executive Chef and Chad Simpson as General Manager for Bluewater Grill Temecula! Debuting in February of 2015, the new restaurant will be dedicated to showcasing the culinary possibilities of sustainable seafood and shellfish.

Temecula, California (September 11, 2014)

Bluewater Grill Temecula, the sustainable seafood restaurant taking shape in the space formally occupied by Fish House Vera Cruz, has appointed a locally trained culinary and management team.

Art Garcia, a Southern California-trained executive chef known for mesquite grilling and an expertise in seafood, will oversee the kitchen as executive restaurant chef, while Chad Simpson, general manager of Market Broiler in Riverside, will assume similar duties for Bluewater Grill Temecula.

The first Bluewater restaurant in Riverside County, Bluewater Grill Temecula joins popular Bluewaters in Newport Beach, Redondo Beach and Tustin, Calif., and Phoenix, as well as new, over-the-water locations on Catalina and Coronado islands. Debuting February 2015 after a series of soft openings, the new restaurant at 26700 Ynez Road in Temecula will serve lunch and dinner daily and operate a full-service seafood market and retail counter featuring sustainable harvested seafood and shellfish, and local Temecula Wines.

“We are thrilled to hand-pick a culinary and management team that is locally connected and well-versed in seafood preparation and recipe-creation at the same time,” explained Jimmy Ulcickas, Bluewater co-founder and co-owner. “At Bluewater Grill, our mission isn’t just to serve the absolute freshest fish, but to showcase the amazing culinary possibilities of seafood that is both sustainably harvested and innovatively prepared. Art and Chad have the experience and local relationships to help us do just that.”

Garcia was previously restaurant chef of Fish House Vera Cruz, where he managing the kitchens and menus of restaurants in San Marcos, Carlsbad and Temecula. As a 12-year member of the Fish House Vera Cruz senior team, he helped build the brand, developing an expertise in mesquite grilling, fresh-fish preparation and innovative seafood and shellfish recipe creation along the way.

A resident of San Marcos, he was raised in north San Diego, attended Palomar College and will be relocating to Temecula so he can be close to Bluewater Grill.

As general manager of Market Broiler in Riverside, Simpson help build the restaurant into a top performer for the six-restaurant chain known for chef-inspired specialty seafood dishes. Previously, he general-managed a number of other Southern California restaurants from fast food to fine dining. A Midwest native, he graduated from Iowa State University and lives in Winchester, Calif.

Garcia and Simpson are currently undergoing rigorous training to master the Bluewater style of management, hospitality and sustainable seafood preparation. The restaurant is currently hiring servers, bartenders and kitchen personnel in addition to retaining qualified existing employees who made Fish House Vera Cruz a favorite in the valley. Potential applicants are advised to go to www.bluewatergrill.com/careers to complete an application!

Bluewater Grill owners and founders Ulcickas and Richard Staunton are working with the City of Temecula to completely remodel the Fish House Vera Cruz dining and outdoor patio space and add a full-service bar to create a stand-alone fish house destination. The retail seafood market will be upgraded to include an extensive offering of local wines for retail purchase by the bottle.

Consistent with other Bluewater locations, Bluewater Grill Temecula will feature a contemporary fish house theme featuring authentic artifacts collected from Bluewater founders’ years of fishing experience off the coast of Southern California.

The new restaurant will follow the Bluewater formula of printing new lunch and dinner menus regularly to showcase the freshest sustainable seafood and shellfish, and offering a separate kid’s menu certified by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program and a weekday small plates menu of $4, $5 and $6 drink and appetizer specials.

Another expected highlight will be a year-long calendar of seasonal seafood specials and monthly tasting events which pair seafood and shellfish 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 and Bluewater Grill’s large fan base.

Industry-leading Commitment to Sustainability

Since opening on Newport’s Cannery Village waterfront in 1996, Bluewater Grill has developed a reputation for not only serving the absolutely freshest seafood but leading the industry in sustainable fishing and farming practices.

According to Ulcickas, Bluewater Grill was one of the first California or Arizona seafood restaurants to apply a full-disclosure menu philosophy and publish a Fish Origins Chart showing the specific farmed or wild source of every item on the menu.

To date, more than 90 percent of the seafood offerings at Bluewater Grill and Bluewater Avalon are sustainably caught or farmed – among the highest of any seafood restaurant in California. To be deemed sustainable, the seafood or shellfish must be certified by the Aquarium of the Pacific Seafood for the Future program; be designated a “Best Or Good Alternative Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; or adhere to strict Marine Stewardship Council best-practice standards for sustainable harvesting.

Bluewater founders also operate 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.



Come in, get hooked

Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant & Fish Market

26700 Ynez Court
Temecula, CA  92591

(Formerly Fish House Vera Cruz)

Phone 951 506 2899


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