Bye Daddy

Veteran seafood restaurant in Fort Worth's Sundance Square jumps ship

Veteran seafood restaurant in Fort Worth's Sundance Square jumps ship

Daddy Jack's, seafood
Lobster madness is about to be over. Photo courtesy of Daddy Jack's

It's going to be a lobster party for the next few days as a longtime seafood restaurant in Fort Worth's Sundance Square is closing after 19 years in business.

Daddy Jack's Sundance Square will shut down on January 13, a closure it announced via a Facebook post.

"To all of our loyal friends, family, and patrons, we are saddened to say the time has come that we close the doors to our Fort Worth location," the post said. "It's been an incredible 19 years and we invite you all to come celebrate with us this coming weekend. Sunday, January 13th will be our last service."

The restaurant opened at 353 Throckmorton St. as part of an expansion of the Dallas-based concept founded by "Daddy" Jack Chaplin. The original location on Greenville Avenue was in a cozy space where it was treasured by locals and lovers of seafood. Chaplin was a New England native and did New England-style seafood, an alternative to the dominant Louisiana style in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Most Daddy Jack's entrees featured a slab of fish, sided with a baked potato and steamed vegetables — a nothing-fancy simplicity that was quintessential old-school New England. The unique signature dish was fish topped with a "stuffing" made from Ritz cracker crumbs bound with butter.

Customers also loved the shrimp scampi, crab cakes, lobster rolls, and authentic clam chowder.

In the '90s, the concept underwent expansion, with branches in Deep Ellum, Coppell, Frisco, and Southlake; all eventually closed.

The Fort Worth location was owned by chef Dominick Simonetti, who outlasted even the original in Dallas which closed in 2017. (There is a location in Connecticut, where Chaplin now lives.)

The Sundance Square location was definitely not helped by the fact that Sundance West, the residential building it's in, has been undergoing an interminable renovation that isn't slated to be finished until at least June 2019. Scaffolding on the facade basically renders the restaurant invisible.

"Construction played a big part," said a representative from the restaurant. "But the good news is, we have many, many reservations between now and Sunday, our last day open."

Those who want one last bowl of lobster bisque, one last parmesan-crusted flounder, one last steamed lobster, are advised to call 817-332-2477 and make a reservation stat.