Champagne was flowing this weekend as Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. Owner Rich Oruch served up cake and bubbly to thank the customers that have made his business what it’s become today.
“The thing I enjoy most about this is the people. It’s all about the guests,” he says.
Among the many highlights he recalled over the past decade and a half, one of the most satisfying was having a regular customer come in and tell him about the time she bought fresh seafood from another place. After their meal, her kids called her out for not buying fish from “the fish guy” because it didn’t taste as good.
“I always believed in this concept,” he says. “Still to this day, there are only a handful of seafood markets around town.”
He takes pride in ensuring that his joint serves up top-quality fish. Oruch’s typical week includes two or three trips out to Love Field where he picks up his overnight fish deliveries. He also regularly enlists UPS and FedEx to bring him whatever is in season from all parts of the country.
That commitment to fresh fish allows him to offer current chef specialties like broiled Alaskan halibut, roasted steelhead trout and baked crabmeat stuff haddock.
Oruch got into the fish business in 1988. For a time in the 90s, he ran a north Dallas fish market. In 2000, he was the third employee hired and Plano’s new Central Market Supermarket. After overseeing a couple of other ventures, he and a business partner came up with the concept for Sea Breeze. In late 2006 they began testing recipes in his kitchen. Then, in they opened to the public in 2007.
Sea Breeze was initially a food market with a fast-casual restaurant, where diners ordered at the counter. In 2011, Oruch closed for a month, expanded into a neighboring space, added a bar, and reopened as a full-service restaurant. All of that was done in less than a month
“I always envisioned this,” he said. “I wanted to go more full service because I knew that’s what people would expect it. It took a while, but we finally did it.”
While fifteen years may be a long time, Oruch says they plan to keep doing what they do best. His son Ryan has been his right-hand man for years now. He’s involved in just about everything now, steadily taking over more and more responsibility.
Looking back, Oruch says that Sea Breeze is everything he ever wanted.
“It’s a casual place with really good fish in the city of Plano, Texas,” he says. “It’s the best fish in town. You can’t get it any fresher.”