Local duo for Carlsbad

Carlsbad Bluewater Grill is now open and we are excited to have long-time San Diego residents, Giorgio Tegami as managing partner and general manager, and Art Garcia as executive chef. All aboard!

Carlsbad, California (July 28, 2017)

Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurants is proud to have two long-time north San Diego County residents in the roles of managing partner and executive chef in time for the newest Carlsbad Village destination for fresh, sustainable seafood, monthly chef’s tastings and neighborhood happy hours.

Bluewater Grill Carlsbad opened in October 2017 in a completely redesigned and expanded space previously occupied by Fish House Vera Cruz at 417 Carlsbad Village Drive.

Giorgio Tegami, a 30-year restaurant veteran, has been named Bluewater Grill Carlsbad managing partner and general manager. The Milan, Italy, native and long-time Carlsbad resident comes from Il Fornaio, were he opened the Irvine, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Coronado Il Fornaio restaurants as general manager before being asked to launch the company’s upscale seafood concept, Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, in Newport Beach.

In addition to serving as managing partner and general manager, Tegami is an investor in Bluewater Grill Carlsbad.

Meanwhile, Art Garcia of San Marcos, previously the executive chef for Fish House Vera Cruz restaurants in Carlsbad, Temecula and San Marcos, has taken on similar duties at Bluewater Grill Carlsbad. Garcia opened Bluewater Grill Temecula as executive chef in 2014, and will bring his years of experience in grilling, fresh-fish preparation and gourmet seafood and shellfish recipe creation back to Carlsbad.

“We are thrilled to hand-pick a culinary and management team that is connected to both Carlsbad and the many nuances of seafood preparation and signature dish and recipe-creation,” 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 culinary possibilities of seafood that is both sustainably harvested and innovatively prepared. Giorgio and Art have the experience and local relationships to help us do just that.”

Bluewater Grill Carlsbad becomes the eighth Bluewater neighborhood restaurant, joining locations in Newport Beach, Redondo Beach, and Temecula, Calif., and Phoenix; and Bluewater Avalon on Catalina Island. Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill debuted in the historic former Hotel del Coronado boathouse on Coronado Island in 2014. luewater opens on the Santa Barbara beachfront later this year.

The new restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily in newly redesigned indoor and patio dining rooms, and a full-service fresh market and retail counter featuring locally caught seafood and shellfish, and local wines. Ulcickas and co-owner, co-founder Richard Staunton have worked closely with the City of Carlsbad to reimagine the dining spaces and add an outdoor patio and full-service bar and lounge to create the perfect fish house destination.

In addition to Garcia, Ulcickas and Staunton are hiring many of the former Fish House Vera Cruz managers, servers, bartenders and kitchen personnel.

“It’s a thrill to return to Carlsbad to continue Bluewater’s legacy of the absolutely freshest sustainable seafood – ranging from small plates and simply prepared fish dishes to the most elaborate chef creations,” said Garcia. “Given Carlsbad’s role as a sophisticated resort and vacation town, we know that Bluewater Grill will be the perfect fit with locals and visitors alike.”

“Carlsbad needs an exceptional seafood restaurant – and Bluewater Grill delivers perfectly on this promise,” said Tegami. “Being able to take the culinary lead at Bluewater in my hometown of Carlsbad is a big honor – and the perfect fit for me.  I can’t wait until we open!”

Consistent with other Bluewater locations in California and Arizona, Bluewater Grill Carlsbad features a contemporary fish house theme featuring authentic artifacts collected from Bluewater founders’ years of fishing experience off the coast of Southern California. The restaurant will follow the Bluewater formula of printing new lunch and dinner menus regularly to be able showcase the freshest seafood and shellfish, and offering a separate kid’s menu certified by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program and a popular weekday small plates menu of $4, $5 and $6 drink and appetizer specials.

“While we serve up to 40 varieties of seafood and shellfish, if it isn’t the freshest possible, we won’t put it on the menu,” added Ulcickas. “That has been our philosophy since Day 1, and we’ll continue that commitment to the freshest fish, ingredients and cooking techniques in Carlsbad.”

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 the 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. The prolific restaurateur has shared his marine stewardship secrets at the International Boston Seafood Show and has been featured on the cover of SeaFood Business, the nation’s leading trade publication for seafood restaurants and other buyers.

To date, more than 90 percent of the seafood offerings at Bluewater restaurants 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, sustainably-caught seafood. 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 Carlsbad
417 Carlsbad Village Dr
Carlsbad, CA  92008



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