Houston will soon be home to Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar, two new seafood-focused eateries that hail from Baltimore.
Atlas Restaurant Group’s Alex Smith tells Eater that both restaurants will occupy a sprawling 11,000 square feet of space in Houston’s River Oaks District, taking over the entire bottom floor of the Equinox building at 4444 Westheimer Road. Ouzo Bay, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant with a focus on top-quality seafood, will take up about 7,000 square feet, offering indoor and outdoor seating for about 225 diners.
Ouzo Bay first opened in Baltimore in 2012, where the restaurant quickly racked up accolades from local publications. “We’re flying in fresh fish from all of the world,” Smith says. “Whether it’s Dover sole wild-caught in Holland, bronzino from Greece, or fresh out of the Gulf.” Smith describes Ouzo Bay’s vibe as “sexy-cool,” complete with a large fish display to show off the day’s catch and a DJ playing tunes in the background. Fans of Steak 48, one of River Oaks’ hottest see-and-be-seen restaurants, will likely find a lot to like about Ouzo Bay.
Sister concept Loch Bar, a whiskey-focused bar with an equally seafood-focused menu, will open adjacent to Ouzo Bay, occupying 4,000 square feet. Smith plans to offer Texas’ widest selection of whiskeys at Loch Bar, and expects to have at least 500 different bottles on the list. A selection of fresh oysters from the Gulf and beyond will be on offer, along with sandwiches and classic plates like Maryland crab cakes served with Old Bay remoulade.
Atlas Restaurant Group is currently searching for a chef to lead the kitchens at both Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar, and they’re looking in Houston. “We’re actively looking for a local chef right now,” he says. “We’ll hire someone local and train someone in Baltimore. We’re not flying anybody in, we want to build our business with a local employee base.”
Both Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar are expected to open in November 2018. Stay tuned for more details on the city’s newest destination for swanky seafood.