Big Changes with Executive Team at Oceanaire Seafood Room Baltimore

Spring Cleaning Sweeps at another Baltimore Seafood Restaurant--this time with a national name-The Oceanaire Seafood Room-Baltimore.

CITYPEEK.com, known for keeping the pulse of what is going on with the locals in town, received a call from two well-connected, local food industry professionals regarding The Oceanaire Seafood Room, the elegant seafood restaurant in Harbor East serving a la carte seafood entrees from $27 to over $40, has made significant changes in its Baltimore Executive staff.

Our sources tell us, "The scoop on The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Baltimore’s Harbor East has cleaned house of upper management. A source in the industry, who’s will remain nameless called CITYPEEK to say "they got rid of most of the Managers including Nate Beachler, the Operating Partner/General Manager and the wine manager, Claudio Aspillaga and some servers.

Last week Oceanaire's Corporate offices took charge forcing Nate Beachler, the Operating Partner, to walk the plank of the swank ocean-liner themed restaurant. Nate Beachler leaves the organization to which he has been dedicated since the restaurant's Baltimore inception in 2005. Known always to give a generous smile and heartfelt welcome, Nate is no longer with the company. A employee answering the phone said he (Nate) "has moved on to bigger and better things." We think that is not by choice. 

Oceanaire's Vice President, Operations, Hal Hecht, phoned CITYPEEK confirming our story. Hal continues that 'we are always looking for good servers so there is nothing sinister to advertise that on Craigs List. We look for the best in every market. .....We hope to get good news on our Chapter 11 status in the new two weeks."

Ben Erjavec, Executive Chef remains on staff garners a new title as he takes over as Captain of the cruise liners team. Chef Ben, a highly accomplished chef, joined The Oceanaire in Baltimore in 2005 where he opened the restaurant in Baltimore as a sous chef is now Executive Chef AND Operating Partner.

Donna Seal, who worked it a few years ago is coming back from the San Diego location to take over as General Manager, Andrew Cecil moving back from the Houston Oceanaire location to take over as Assistant General Manager, Hecht  reports. There are no changes in the Washington, DC Oceanaire, "Rob Klink is still Executive Chef going on ten yearsand Christine is still our Manager," explains Hecht.

As recently as today, Craig's List had listings for servers and a listing for an Assistant General Manager was posted earlier in the week. The “suits are there now revamping,“ continued the source. This was confirmed when calling directly.

We always enjoy seeing Ben out, he is very dedicated to saving and protecting the oyster shell population. He is involved in various charities and holds numerous awards on his seafood skills. We love sampling his grilled oysters, as well as risotto, whenever at his special events and benefits. We especially remember the private, impromptu kitchen tour when we sampled The Oceanaire's trademark chocolate chip cookies (served with milk as a dessert item) fresh from the oven.

We wish everyone well and are sad to see the changes happen. The Oceanaire Seafood Room is opened daily for dinner.

Do not be terribly surprised at the major changes because in July 2009, the company filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy closing some restaurants quickly, keeping others open, Baltimore and DC included. "A seafood restaurant chain with outlets around the country, The Oceanaire Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Oceanaire listed assets and debts of between $10 million and $50 million and filed for Chapter 11 in Dallas. It has asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close some of its restaurants. So far it has closed restaurants in Seattle, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Bankruptcy Court Since July 2009-The Oceanaire serves fresh seafood, lobster, crab and has an oyster bar and traditional caviar service served in a decor designed to evoke a classic ocean liner feel. The company is working with lenders on a restructuring plan and plans to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of the year. The twelve other locations in Denver, Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, San Diego and Washington D.C. will remain open. July 2009 Luxist source.

Recently CITYPEEK scooped the story on major executive changes at Nick's Fish House.

Any news to tell us about the Washington DC spot, a hotbed for the busy executive set, please email us: info@citypeek.com.