Two seasoned restaurateurs from the city are dropping anchor in Chesterfield County.
Maria and Michael Oseguera, owners of Maya restaurant on East Grace Street downtown, are preparing to open Oceano at 1352 Sycamore Square in the Sycamore Square Shopping Center.
The space had been home to Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern for more than 30 years until its closure in 2020.
Oceano will be another seafood-heavy concept, one that Michael describes as a New American restaurant with European influences.
“I think we’re going to be leaning towards Italian with pastas and other Italian fare,” Oseguera said, noting Oceano’s menu will have dishes from around Italy’s Amalfi Coast where seafood is abundant.
Oceano will have room to seat around 110 and include a full bar with over 100 types of wine. Oseguera said they’re planning to start out with only dinner service but plan to eventually offer lunch.
He said they leased the roughly 5,000-square-foot space last spring but as they set out to renovate it and bring it up to code, they hit delays in permitting and receiving new equipment.
“Anything to do with metal (has been delayed),” Oseguera said. “I still haven’t gotten stuff that I ordered back in October.”
Crab Louie’s canary yellow facade has been repainted as the Osegueras and their general contractor, J.A. Heisler Contracting Co., look to modernize the building.
“It’s definitely going to look very, very different. The plus is there’s a lot of history there with the building and the restaurants. So, I’m looking to embrace the history and make it a little more modern and give it an exciting, trendier feel,” Oseguera said.
While supply chain issues persist, Oseguera said another other pandemic-induced challenge is beginning to abate.
“Staffing’s still a little hard. It’s not as bad as it was last year, but it’s still challenging,” Oseguera said. “I think we’ve slowly improved on that.”
Oceano is aiming to open in mid-to-late April.