Neighborhood seafood restaurant is a hit on the Decatur restaurant scene

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Sean Keeton

The interior of the Harbour Bar and Fish House took months to perfect, and turned into an elaborate, new restaurant.

Right across the street from the Decatur gym lies a house that turned into a restaurant. It’s in a quaint, quiet area that is easy to not notice, and it’s nowhere in the area that you would call “Decatur square”. The Harbour Bar and Fish House, who calls themselves “Decatur’s finest fish house”, opened October 8, 2011 and had became one of Decatur’s most popular seafood restaurants in a little less than a year.

The Harbour Bar and Fish House has been one of my favorite restaurants in Decatur for a while now. I visited the restaurant on the very first day it opened and been hooked ever since. I went simple and ordered the fried shrimp with fries, and it was the single best fried shrimp basket I’ve ever eaten. As an avid restaurant visiter and seafood lover, I eat at every seafood restaurant I could find, from the typical Red Lobster, to the reservation only Legal Seafood in Atlanta.

The menu boasts seafood items as well as items such as sandwiches, chicken, and steak. It features appetizers such as raw and cooked oysters, peel-n-eat shrimp, lobster bisque, blue crab crab cakes, and crab dip. I’ve never been the one for clams until I came here, one day I tried their littleneck clam appetizer, and it was pretty appetizing.

Entrees include low country boils, fried seafood baskets, seafood tacos, surf and turf, pasta dishes, and fish of the day choices. My personal favorite would be either the fried shrimp or the lobster and shrimp tacos depending on the day.

The owners of the restaurant, Sean Keeton and Chris Blanchard describes the restaurant as “casual and coastal” and “a marriage between New Orleans and New England.”

In the beginnings of the restaurant, renovation of a previous household was a long process. “The process was somewhat complicated because I had to negotiate a lease and build time with the landlords,” Keeton said. “Very few people understand that opening a restaurant is less about cooking food and serving drinks and that it’s a political, marketing, and construction business.”

Although they have many great dishes, Keeton doesn’t have a single favorite dish. “It really just depends on the mood,” he said. “I like so many.”

As one of the owners, Keeton states that their three signature dishes would be shrimp and grits, the lobster roll, and pesto scallop linguine. Out of these dishes, I have only tried one which was the shrimp and grits. I have tried other shrimp and grits dishes, and this is by far my favorite.

As for the future of the Harbour Bar and Fish House, Keenan hopes for the best. “My plan for the future is to be the best upscale casual seafood restaurant in the area,” he said. “Our business has picked up significantly since the beginning of 2012.” As a fan of the restaurant, I can conclude that they’ll have no problem getting that far.