The 52-year-old El Galleon is one of Catalina Island’s oldest and beloved restaurants. Just last month, El Galleon was sold to Newport Beach-based Bluewater Grill. As with similar restaurant stories, many braced to witness a significant change in Catalina’s unique culture, but this story ends well. The new owners plan to make few changes while upgrading the space.
If the name Bluewater sounds familiar, that’s because the company owns the same seafood restaurant Bluewater Avalon, which is a one-minute walk to El Galleon. According to the Press Telegram, Bluewater is working with the original owners, Jack and Nora Tucey, to keep the restaurant’s vibe the same. They’ll also hold onto staff, as well as the old-school menu with steak, prime rib, burgers, chicken, salads, and local fish.
The restaurant closed for minor repairs from May 6 through May 10. And though El Galleon is open for business as of today, new owners Jimmy Ulcickas, Richard Staunton, and investors will close El Galleon in September for additional renovations, then reopen in the fall. The timing coincides with another big moment for Catalina. 2019 marks the 100-year anniversary after chewing gum bigwig William Wrigley Jr. bought Catalina Island Company, and began Catalina’s development into its present iteration.
El Galleon, 411 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA