Ocean Grill Avila Beach, a new 110-seat restaurant at the corner of Front and San Luis streets, hopes to open by Labor Day — offering casual dining during the day with prices from around $8 to $11 and fine dining in the evening with dishes priced from around $25 to $30.
“Our intention is to make it a destination place for people around the county,’’ said general manager Dan Harper, who has teamed with local financial partner Forster-Gill Co. and executive chef Michael Reyes.
Harper was the founder-operator of Cabo San Luis, a Mexican-inspired eatery at Foothill Square in San Luis Obispo until it was ravaged by fire in March 2010.
“I am going to have at least one of the (Cabo) favorites — the fish tacos — on the lunch menu,’’ Harper said.
The rest of the menu will feature such items as burgers, pizza and salads for lunch and grilled steaks, seared sea bass and other seafood for dinner, Harper said. The restaurant will also offer an extensive wine menu, including wine and beer on tap. “Lots of local wine will be a focus,’’ he said.
Reyes, a Cal Poly alumnus and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, most recently was executive chef at Splashes of Laguna Beach. His other culinary experience includes The French Laundry in Napa Valley, Gotham Bar and Grill in New York and the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
Ocean Grill Avila Beach, at 268 Front St., will feature a 60-seat patio in the front with sliding glass doors opening to the rest of the seats inside, Harper said. Solar panels on the patio are designed to provide shade and reduce energy costs. Eventually the restaurant will add an outside deck with additional ocean-view seating and outdoor fireplaces.
Harper, who opted against rebuilding Cabo San Luis, said the stars “kind of lined up’’ for the Avila Beach restaurant. “I’m really excited about this location.”
He expects to employ nearly 40 full-time and part-time people.
Harper declined to say how much owners have invested in the new restaurant.