No stranger to transition, Plano’s own Fishmonger’s Seafood Café has moved to a new location, but don’t worry — it isn’t far from the old one. You can now get your seafood fix at 2301 N. Central Expressway, Suite 195, in the spot previously occupied by Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine.
In 1981 Jim and Pattie Elrod started Fishmonger’s Seafood Café, which was at first intended to be a fish market with only five tables for lunch and closed by 5 p.m. After a while the fish market aspect became insignificant, and the restaurant took off, Jim explained.
“The restaurant expanded twice before moving to the old Chili’s location at 1901 North Central Expressway in 2006. The lease was not renewed, so we moved to our current location,” he said. “We will have the same menu, same staff. Customer response has been uniformly positive.”
The move came at the right time as the couple explained that they struggled with the decline of the shopping center the restaurant used to call home. “We hope to recapture the vitality that has been missing for the past six or eight years,” Jim continued.
Pattie is proud to say that the food served is always consistent, and some of the staff have been around for 18-20 years. Kitchen manager Panfilo Ochoa has been with the restaurant from the beginning and said he’s now enjoying a much bigger kitchen to create his dishes. Some customer favorites are the Pontchartrain (mesquite grilled or blackened tilapia topped with sautéed shrimp, crabmeat, scallions and mushrooms), cedar planked salmon and, of course, fried seafood.
“I like what I do. This is one of the best restaurants I’ve worked for, and I like working with small businesses,” Panfilo said.
Despite Fishmonger’s new spot being in a building that has been the location of more than a few other restaurants, the Elrods aren’t worried. They have three generations of customers that have continued to come to the café. They’ve watched so many of them grow up and bring in their own family. The new, more spacious location boasts better visibility from the highway, a spacious patio and big windows that let in a large amount of light.
Be on the lookout for fresh things on the horizon at Fishmonger’s such as a Creole brunch and the newly added New Orleans-style beignets that were so popular at Big Easy, the Elrods’ smaller eatery that closed in 2014.Fishmonger's Seafood Café >