After nearly 13 years deep inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Oceanaire Seafood Room is relocating to Nicollet Mall and 6th St., in the street-level space that has been home to the M&S Grill since 2006.
“We’ll be moving in early January,” said Oceanaire general manager Rick Kimmes. “We’re thinking our last meal here is going to be New Year’s Eve.”
The Oceanaire is the second major restaurant tenant to say farewell to the Hyatt, which is undergoing a $25 million renovation. Manny’s Steakhouse departed for a similar street-level location in the W Hotel in the Foshay Tower in 2008.
“Ever since Manny’s moved, it’s been lonely here,” Kimmes said. “Now we’ll be going to the heart of the city, where there’s plenty of activity, and we’re excited about that.”
Kimmes said that, while many details are yet to be ironed out, the restaurant’s raw bar (above, with oyster expert Felipe Barreto) will remain a focal point. Lunch service is on the docket for the first time, as is sidewalk seating. A spokesperson for the M&S Grill, a corporate sibling to McCormick & Schmick's, did not know when the restaurant will be closing.
Speaking of the Oceanaire’s raw bar, the restaurant is offering a decent deal nightly through the summer: A dozen oysters (a chef’s choice selection) and a bottle of zesty New Zealand-made sauvignon blanc for $36.95.
Oh, and Kimmes, the restaurant’s executive chef since it opened in 1998, has moved to the position of general manager. His replacement? Longtime sous chef Jake Uttich.