A Dallas-based sushi restaurant chain is opening its first location in Fort Worth. Called The Blue Fish, it's a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi, sushi rolls, and sashimi, along with an array of Asian hot dishes, salads, and desserts.
The restaurant is opening in Crockett Row at 2932 Crockett St., in the space that was once home to Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse, which closed in March 2017, and was then going to be a location of Pakpao.
Pakpao was part of a two-fer deal to open, along with its Mexican sibling El Bolero, in what was then the newly rechristened Crockett Row (formerly West 7th); it was expected the two restaurants would open in late 2017. El Bolero did end up opening, in February 2019.
Now we learn that Pakpao will not. We can only assume that The Blue Fish got a sweet, sweet rental deal.
The Blue Fish was founded in Dallas in 1998 by sister-and-brother Julie and Alex Lee, who opened their first location at 3519 Greenville Ave., after moving to DFW from Los Angeles.
When the first location opened, it took a very "L.A." approach with an emphasis on scene over sushi, including a nightclub vibe that was unique at the time in Dallas' more sedate sushi scene. Decor incorporated a black ceiling, exposed ductwork, corrugated sheet metal accents, dim lighting, and loud music.
The vibe worked for Greenville Avenue, and the formula has been a success, now with nearly a dozen locations across DFW as well as Houston and even Miami, even spawning similar concepts such as Sushi Axiom.
This Fort Worth location is rather audaciously close to Blue Sushi Sake Grill, which is located a little less than a half mile away at 3131 W. 7th St. But Blue Sushi Sake Grill has amassed a rock-solid following, thanks to generous happy hours, late-night hours, and special offerings such as vegan sushi.
Also in its favor, Blue Sushi Sake Grill does not subject customers to the punishing parking situation at Crockett Row, where drivers have been known to park without spotting a meter machine you're apparently required to feed, because it's located five cars down from where you've parked, and there's no signage indicating such, resulting in a $35 parking ticket. At least, that's been rumored to happen.
A spokesman for The Blue Fish says that the restaurant will open in early 2020.