Description
Captain Jon Alexis of the S.S. T.J.
Captain Jon Alexis of the S.S. T.J.

In the interest of full disclosure, I consider Jon and Natalie Alexis, owners of TJ’s two locations, to be friends of mine. That being said, I’m pretty sure I’d be a big fan of TJ’s even if I’d never met them and realized how awesome they are.

In celebration of the opening of the new location of TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market in North Dallas, I sent owner and captain Jon Alexis five questions so we could all get to know him a bit better. I also went to a media preview on the day of the new location’s “christening,” so check out the images below the interview if you’d like to drool a bit.

 

Gimme the short version of how TJ’s came to be.
TJ’s was founded by Tom and Jim (“T” & “J”) in 1989.  My family moved from Virginia to Dallas at the same time, so we became regulars at TJ’s for our seafood needs.  When they were ready to retire in 1999, they wanted to sell to a customer who would continue to do things the “TJ’s way”.  I wanted to grow the business and bought my parents out 6 years ago.

 

Tell me about the new space!
The new space is the TJ’s I’ve pictured in my head all these years.  Over 3,000 sq ft allowing us to have a brand new fish market, a 90 person dining room with spacious booths and banquets and a full bar. And I got to put a few things in I’ve always wanted to do, including a custom designed fish cutting table allowing our butchers to do incredible things, and a TV in the fish market where we can play our own TJ’s-filmed youtube cooking demos (coming soon). When a customer asks how to sear a scallop, we can show them with the click of a button.

 

How many different types of fish, on average, would you say are available at TJ’s on any given day?
We usually have about 25-30 species of seafood daily. Smaller changes in selection of inventory day to day with bigger changes to inventory season to season.

 

It’s been quite the exciting few months for you and your family! What’s more difficult: having a newborn baby or opening a new location?
The day Baby Sally discovers Yelp and starts reviewing our parenting online she’ll take the lead. 

What’s your favorite thing about the new TJ’s?
Two things:
#1 Design
I tend to be a hands on micro managing control freak (chef has to remind me to stop garnishing plates and go back to my office)…but I wisely just let our designer do her thing. Hatsumi Kuzuu (Tei An, FT33) designed the space. To include “TJ’s” with those amazing establishments is such an honor, and when people walk in, it takes their breath away the same way it felt when i first walked in those restaurants. It’s simply gorgeous. I told her i wanted a place casual enough where someone could grab fish tacos in shorts after a workout, but elegant enough where they could dine on lobster pasta and champagne for a special night out. She NAILED it. My wife did a wonderful job with Hatsumi, she was really the client!

 

#2 THE BOOZE
Every drinker fantasizes about having a bar.  Sam Bell (Stampede66, Casa Rubia) put together an incredible wine list that expands on our “fish-friendly wines” concept (yes you can drink red with fish, it’s about finding the right reds). The beers are all draft Ballast Point from San Diego (Beer World Cup “Best Small Brewery”), and for hopheads the Sculpin IPA won back to back Gold Medals “best IPA” on earth. Each beer has a seafood themed logo. And the cocktail list is split between classics and coastal cocktails. People tend to think of coastal cocktails as sweet umbrella drinks. We have a great one (Zombie), but to me the best coastal cocktails are light, breezy and elegant, not loud, fruity and spring break. Gruner- based “Asolare” from St. John, a house-smoked rum “Dark & Smokey”,  Summer Shandy, etc. Bloodies and Brandy Milk Punches for day drinkers, too!

 

How does it taste? Pretty great. And what’s even better is that you truly can get a delicious plate of fish tacos for $14 or a classy plate of Dover Sole Meunière for $29 with caviar service featuring siberian sevruga for $140. TJ’s can be exactly what you need it to be: impressive or low-key, a great spot to sit and have a drink, and a resource for how to prepare fresh seafood at home. After all, it’s a seafood market. Here’s what I got to try during the media preview:
It’s no surprise Mr. Alexis is as successful as he is. He’s got his shit together, his elevator speech is prime and comes from an honest place, and you can’t help but feel happy for him. He’s truly living his seafaring dream.

Captain John Alexis Christens New Location of TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market in Dallas from food bitch on Vimeo.

 

Congratulations to Jon and Natalie Alexis on the birth of their daughter, Sally, and their other baby, too.

 

TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market  |  6025 Royal Lane, Suite 110, 75230  |  tjsseafood.com

 

NOTE: The media dinner aforementioned herein was comped by TJ’s. 

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