The restaurant represents a new chapter for Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood and Steaks, which served its elevated take on classic Creole cuisine for 13 years. When its previous location in the Chelsea Market was sold and torn down, owner Kyle Teas opted for a new name to go along with the new location.
“It’s named after my dad,” Teas tells CultureMap. “We wanted to honor him. When the situation came about with the shopping center being sold, it’s a good time. Danton’s had a 13-year run of great people and great memories. Let’s start fresh.”
That fresh start includes a comprehensive set of renovations. Teas’ wife, Clare Teas, and sister-in-law, Christa Yates, have decorated the 70-seat oyster bar with vintage family photographs. Antique mirrors from the Teas family help make the 80-seat main dining room feel larger and more open.
While the look and name are new, the food remains the same, which will be good news for Danton’s fans who’ve missed the restaurant’s signature recipes like shrimp Kyle and white chocolate bread pudding. The biggest change is that some whole fish dishes such as halibut and sea bass have been moved off the menu; they’ll be available seasonally based on the restaurant’s ability to source fresh product.
Even better, many of the cooks and service staff from Danton’s have made their way to Eugene’s. The team has a family touch, too, with Teas’ daughter Bailey serving as the restaurant’s marketing and development director.
Teas acknowledges some initial stumbles as the crew adapted to its new home — fans of Danton’s and neighborhood residents overwhelmed the kitchen in the beginning — but service is running more smoothly now. Currently open for dinner, he plans to add lunch in November and brunch shortly after that.
In the last few years, new restaurants have emerged that are putting their own spin on the same style of seafood Eugene’s serves. Teas acknowledges that those establishments have their place, but he’s confident that his classic approach still has its fans. As he notes, diners will always welcome a restaurant that serves good seafood and steaks.
“I’ve been to all those restaurants. I like them,” Teas says. “I think there’s enough distinction in the menus that each one has its own niche. Some have a smaller menu than we do, but what they do, they do well.
“I think we’re going to fit in real well with the neighborhood here.”