Original TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market in Preston Forest to Expand and Move to Preston Royal

Mussels moving to Preston Royal. (Photography by Kevin Marple)
Mussels moving to Preston Royal. (Photography by Kevin Marple)

The space formerly occupied by Purple Cow in PrestonRoyalShopping Center will soon become a updated version TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market in PrestonForest. The original shop, which was opened by Tom Haden and Jim Kearnen founded TJ’s in 1989 and purchased by Pete and Caren Alexis in 1999 will close. Their son, Jon Alexis, who has almost single handily raised the profile of all proteins that live in water to Dallas consumers, will continue his quest.

Once a neighborhood fish market, this tiny shop endured in the shadow of the vast seafood case at the 80,000 square foot Whole Foods across the street. Undaunted, in October 2012, Alexis opened a second location of TJ’s on Oak Lawn and offered customers a dine-in menu as well as a sophisticated array of fresh seafood. The new Preston Royal will be a combination of a fish market and a dining room.

Customers will be treated to a 3,148 square foot space designed by Hatsumi Kuzuu of Kuzuu Design, whose portfolio includes FT33 and Tei-An. There will be 80 seats for full-service dining and a full bar. Look for a late summer/early fall opening.

TJ’s Operations Director Chase Cheatham states: “We always jokingly called TJ’s Oak Lawn not a restaurant, but a ‘fish market with seats.’  This new location is definitely not a fish market with seats, but a full service restaurant and bar with a great fish case.  The fish case is separated in the front, so retail patrons can pop in and out while diners enjoy their meal with table-side waitstaff at booths, banquets or the bar.”

Alexis admits his Oak Lawn location was a test run for the new concept. “ Now we won’t feel the pressure to be everything to everybody in such an intimate space. We’ll be building on what we’re doing at Oak Lawn in the Preston Royal location, debuting new menu items and services we don’t currently offer. At Oak Lawn, we’ll be streamlining to focus on the most popular items in that intimate setting, as well as bringing in some of the new items we add to the menu at Preston Royal.”