For a major metropolitan city with such close geographic proximity to the Gulf Coast, it’s a wonder Houston doesn’t have more seafood-centered restaurants in its midst. The powers that be at Gatsby’s Hospitality Group (proprietors of the Montrose-based Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse) are poised to change that. Owner Luis Rangel is opening Gatsby’s Prime Seafood in the former 6,700-square-foot stead of Tony Mandola’s at 1212 Waugh Drive.

Like Rangel’s steakhouse, this new fish and seafood restaurant pays homage to the roaring twenties and the prohibition era that was the backdrop in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. (Only cocktails are flowing legally here.) Executive chef Erick Anaya who mans the range at the nearby steakhouse will oversee the operations in the back of the house here too. With more than two decades of food and beverage experience, his menu will include dishes like branzino filet, New Bedford scallops, sea bass, a tiered seafood tower and even caviar offerings.

With seating for 225 diners, hospitality veteran Patrick Smith will oversee the front-of-the-house in a dining room appointed in blue with gold accents, as well as outdoor patio dining. The bar will shake up pre-prohibition cocktails, while the restaurant’s wine list, global in scope, will favor California vintages.

Red Fish at Gatsby’s Prime Seafood
Red fish is on the menu at the upcoming opening of Gatsby’s Prime Seafood. (Photo by Michael Anthony)

“What may appear on the surface to be a concept without much deviation from Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse is rather a carefully envisioned expansion of the Gatsby’s brand into an entirely new culinary category,” Rangel says in a statement. “We plan to deliver the level of professionalism in all aspects that guests have come to enjoy at Prime Steakhouse while simultaneously upping the ante in regard to the presentation, flavor and consistency of all dishes.

“We’ve been elated with the success of Prime Steakhouse up to this point, and Gatsby’s Prime Seafood is our chance to prove that this brand is here to stay.”

Gatsby’s Prime Seafood is scheduled to open late this month. Its daytime hours will run from 11 am to 2 pm for lunch and 2 pm to 5 pm for “social hour” with a limited menu Tuesdays through Fridays. Dinner service runs from 5 pm to 9 pm Sundays through Wednesdays, 5 pm to 10 pm Thursdays and 5 pm to 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed Mondays.

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