New eatery serves up freshness
Published 10:21 pm Friday, January 3, 2014
Seafood doesn’t come much fresher than at a new restaurant in Freedom Plaza where Jammin’ Jerk BBQ used to be, says Dylan Wilson, its co-owner.
That’s because Mason’s Seafood & Chophouse, in suite 112 at 148 Burnetts Way — near the corner of Godwin Boulevard and Route 58 — special-orders fish and other tasty aquatic creatures direct from Wanchese Fish Company, whose owner he used to work for, Wilson said.
“He was able to hook me up with the seafood, instead of going through a distributor,” Wilson said.
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“I literally call them … and I pick it up about an hour later. It’s four to six hours from when it’s taken from the water to when it’s served.”
Mason’s opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Dec. 19, while a grand opening with ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Saturday.
With specials written in colored chalk on a huge board behind the counter, the menu includes beef brisket, duck confit, pasta, steak and vegetarian entrees.
Steaks are sliced fresh from primal cuts, said Wilson, who has graduated to his first restaurant ownership from the Subway across from the North Main Street Walmart.
“It’s simple seasoning — salt, pepper, butter,” he said, adding most items are made from scratch. “Everybody that’s been in here has been blown away by the food quality.”
Wilson says the restaurant aims to support local producers and growers by serving up fresh dishes made with fresh local ingredients.
His business partner is Hichem Manai, who also owns the Sal’s Pizza two shopfronts down from Mason’s.
“I’ve known Hichem for a little over a decade,” Wilson said. “We’d been talking about starting a restaurant together on and off for a couple of years, and he came to me seriously a couple of months ago, and we sat down and talked it over, and worked out what we could manage.”
Since the soft opening, business had been increasing steadily, Wilson said.
“Breakfast — not as much as we’d like,” he said. “But lunches have been steadily increasing, and dinners have been getting pretty crazy.”
They haven’t done a lot of advertising, he said, and are yet to establish a social media presence. He hopes a coming-soon Facebook page will help things along.
Mason’s Seafood & Chophouse is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and 4:30 to 10 p.m. for dinner.
They do carryout and catering orders as well as sit-downs in a relaxed atmosphere set off by the giant chalkboard looming behind the counter on the kitchen wall.
They can be reached at 539-2467.