New market for seafood: Clothing retailers

Published on
December 25, 2012

Tommy Bahama is the latest major U.S. retailer to feature seafood at restaurants in its stores. The company’s new flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which opens this week, includes a 6,700-square-foot seafood-inspired eatery, Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar.

Several other clothing and home goods chains also sport restaurants, and many of their menus focus on seafood. Nordstrom operates 109 restaurants and 117 specialty coffee bars in its stores. “We absolutely do feature seafood on our menus. Our roots are in Seattle after all, but we always look for ways to tailor our offering at a particular store …. to cater to the local community that we are serving,” said Colin Johnson, spokesperson for Nordstrom. For example, Blue Stove at Nordstrom in Burlington, Mass., features miso glazed black cod, lump crab cakes with remolaude, and other seafood appetizers and entrees.

Meanwhile, Urban Outfitters’ Terrain at Styers restaurant in Glen Mills, Penn., serves Pennsylvania rainbow trout, pan-seared scallops, poached Faroe Island salmon, and other seafood entrees.

Since Tommy Bahama opened its first store 17 years ago, it has included restaurants — a total of 14 now — in its stores. While the type of food served at its store restaurants varies by region, all of its menus are seafood-focused. “We definitely like to keep our seafood as local as we can and we follow the Seafood Watch standards when buying fish,” said Rob Goldberg, vice president of marketing for Tommy Bahama.

At the Manhattan store, the Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar menu includes striped bass ceviche, lobster roll BLT, North Atlantic swordfish, local black cod along with staples such as Macadamia nut-encrusted snapper and coconut shrimp. The restaurant sources its seafood through Pierless Fish Co., Brooklyn; The Lobster Place, New York City; and a number of other distributors.

The average dinner check at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar locations is around USD 60 (EUR 45). At the Manhattan store, Goldberg also expects a large lunch crowd from offices in the area.

Contributing Editor

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