Two of River Oaks District's more eagerly anticipated new restaurants will make their debut next month. Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar, two concepts from Baltimore-based Atlas Restaurant Group, will open their doors on June 17, Atlas owners Eric and Alex Smith announced.
Occupying 12,000 square feet next to Le Colonial and across from Bisou, the two establishments may hail from out of town, but patrons will see some familiar faces in the dining room. General manager Ryan Studt comes to the project after a successful stint at Eddie V's in CityCentre, while director of hospitality David Hall's time at Le Colonial will help him spot the District's VIPs. Acclaimed local sommelier Evan Turner (Helen, Emmaline) brings his expertise for Greek wine to Ouzo Bay's selections.
Both restaurants feature luxurious interiors. Ouzo Bay's look includes an indoor-outdoor fireplace, octopus tentacle lighting fixtures, and "high-backed cherry banquettes." Loch Bar channels a speakeasy vibe with red-leather banquettes around marble tables, antique mirrors, and white-washed wood accents.
In terms of its food, Ouzo Bay is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant with a focus on seafood. The restaurant features a seafood display that highlights ingredients flown in daily from around the world. The selection includes Norwegian langoustines, West African salt prawns, and branzino from the Aegean Sea. While many of the preparations are very decadent, those looking to eat light will find options, too. Carnivores may opt for a locally raised lamb shank, Australian lamb chops, or a selection of steaks.
“We’re aiming to transport guests to Santorini through these dishes,” Alex Smith said in a statement. “We were drawn to the District in particular thanks to the pedestrian-friendly layout and the caliber of our fellow retailers.”
While Ouzo Bay is a decidedly upscale affair, Loch Bar aims to be a more casual "seafood tavern." The menu mixes classics like a New England lobster roll and Maryland crab cakes with a nod to locals via a Viet-Cajun crawfish boil complete with corn and potatoes. In terms of spirits, Loch Bar aims to steal a little of Bosscat Kitchen's thunder with a selection of over 400 whiskeys (and whiskys) from around the world.
Beyond food and drink, daily live music will give Loch Bar a lively atmosphere, and its expansive patio features black and white canopies that should give it a degree of all-weather utility.