San Diego sustainable seafood restaurant Lionfish to open downtown Delray this spring

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Staff report

Soon you will be able to taste a sea-to-table meal in downtown Delray Beach.

Clique Hospitality Group has plans to open a second Lionfish location where Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza shuttered at 307 E. Atlantic Ave.

Lionfish is the creation of hospitality mogul Andy Masi, who operates restaurants and nightclubs on the west coast, and chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz.

The first Lionfish concept opened about 3 years ago inside a hotel in San Diego. The goal was to create a sustainable seafood restaurant that used local fisherman and local purveyors.

“We are really passionate about the ocean and also food,” Masi said, adding Lionfish tied their passions together.

Masi and Ruiz then began to explore expanding the Lionfish concept.

They knew the second location had to open in a coastal town where people care about the ocean. They decided to anchor down in Delray Beach.

“San Diego has such a great fishing community, and Florida has the same thing,” chef Ruiz said. “Plus, we can actually serve lionfish.”

Masi said has was impressed with Atlantic Avenue. Clique Hospitality is calling Delray home its second home. The company has opened a local office in Delray that will employ 10 people by the time the restaurant is open.

“We think we are going to really be welcomed in the Delray community,” Masi said. “We are making Delray home.”

Masi is redoing the entire restaurant space so it won’t look like the former pizza place.

The menu will feature a lot of shared dishes that are inspired by flavors of the world. Seafood will be sustainable and traceable. There will be craft cocktails created by mixologists.

Masi said the experience of food and beverage has evolved over the years. People aren’t ordering their own salad and entree. Rather, they are ordering a few things for the table. Lionfish encourages sharing.

There is no scheduled opening date.