There was a big buzz when the second location of TJ's Seafood Market opened in Highland Park in 2012. For years TJ's had been a place to pick up a side of salmon, and maybe a few dozen oysters to shuck at home. But when owner Jon Alexis moved into a strip mall alongside Carbone's, suddenly table service was an option, with dishes like salmon lox with all the fixings and ultra buttery lobster rolls.
The plan worked sufficiently well that Alexis plans on duplicating it. He's scrapping the original location and moving it to Preston Royal into a spot that used to house The Purple Cow, a small, local burger chain. Once the grease stains are off the walls, Alexis plans on a pretty significant renovation.
The new restaurant will fill out a 3,148 square foot space designed by Hatsumi Kuzuu of Kuzuu Design, who's also responsible for the dining rooms of FT33 and Tei-An. When they're done they'll have 80 seats for dining and a full service bar.
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They're planning on having a fish case as well for those who want to stink up their kitchens, but that will be kept separate from the main dining room so shoppers can pop in and out without disturbing the dining room. Basically it sounds like the new Preston Royal TJ's is a lot like the not so new Highland Park TJ's, only with the size and volume turned up to ten. They'll be ready sometime this fall, just in time for oyster season.