When Keith Delcambre decided it was time to open Bozo’s Too, he didn’t have to do much to spread the word. There was a single Facebook post announcing the opening.
Fans of Bozo’s Seafood Grocery and Grill next door at 2012 Ingalls Ave. found the new restaurant anyway when it opened its doors Friday evening.
“Packed,” said General Manager Paul Clark when asked about the first night. “Jammed.”
Its name may be Bozo’s Too but it’s not another Bozo’s
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Diners that first night walked into a restaurant that is quite a departure from the original Bozo’s, which was opened by Delacambre’s grandfather in 1956.
The menu is ambitious and much more expansive as is the dining room that seats 97. It has a spacious, well-stocked bar and inviting booths, and a patio that seats another 33.
Five large TVs were playing college games as the crew prepared for another busy night.
“It’s all in a relaxed, comfortable, family orientated setting,” said Clark.
Another departure from the original is Kevin Truong, who Clark said has an extensive background at the casinos and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. He’s the executive chef.
“No, Bozo’s doesn’t have an executive chef,” answered Delecambre to a question that brought a chuckle. “It does have some well-seasoned cooks.”
Salads, pork chops, steaks, grilled foods and salmon are some of the items on the new menu.
And it’ll offer a Catch of the Day — sometimes. Saturday’s was wahoo.
“Whatever comes in fresh,” said Delacambre. “If nothing comes in fresh, guess what, there is no catch of the day.”
Truong said he uses as many fresh ingredients as he can, right down to the herbs that season his dishes.
“We don’t get a lot of stuff out of boxes, or frozen” he said as he looked around a huge walk-in refrigerator filled with marinating steaks, iced shrimp and vegetables. “Good food at affordable prices. You go somewhere else and get the same kind of food, it’s going to cost you a lot more.”
Starting Sunday, the restaurant will open at 11 a.m. each day, staying open until 9 p.m. on Sunday, 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The original Bozo’s, named one of the 20 Best Seafood Dives by Coastal Living magazine last year, will stay the same, by the way.
“The best boiled shrimp on the Coast,” said Dan Carroll of Long Beach as he was waiting on his order and admired the new Bozo’s.