Oceanaire gets swallowed up by Landry's
Oceanaire Seafood Room's Chapter 11 bankruptcy woes have finally come to an end, with news that the upscale nautical chain has been sold to Landry's Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of nearly 100 branded restaurants, including Simms Steakhouse, Willie G's Seafood & Steak, the Chart House, Landry's Seafood House and the Downtown Aquarium, which may be the single worst restaurant in Denver.
Landry's paid $6.6 million and assumed $17 million in debt, which Oceanaire amassed when it was forced to shutter four of its 16 locations last year. The $23 million deal is still pending court approval, but the decision is expected to stick when both parties commune in a Texas bankruptcy court on Monday, April 26.
In the meantime, Matt Mine, executive chef/operating partner of Denver's Oceanaire, 1400 Arapahoe Street, says that "Landry's likes what we do and does not wish to change us. So we should be safe as far as being a great seafood restaurant. As far as I know, I'm still driving this boat." Mine believes that most of the changes -- if there are any -- "will probably occur behind the scenes." Landry's, maintains Mine, "bought us for a reason, and they want to keep us that same reason, which is that we're a great high-end seafood restaurant in Denver."