Catalina Connection

Bluewater Grill purchases El Galleon, one of Avalon’s most popular mainstays

AVALON—Bluewater Grill, the Newport-Beach-based partnership that offers sustainable seafood, has reportedly purchased El Galleon, a popular restaurant operating in Avalon since 1967. The purchase, according to an article published by The Orange County Register, has been confirmed and the current staff will remain.

The article states: “Bluewater co-owners Jimmy Ulcickas and Richard Staunton acquired the restaurant with local investors including Caleb Lins and plan to renovate it while keeping its menu of steak, prime rib, chicken, burgers and fresh local fish in season.”

Lins is a commercial lobster fisherman, which is fitting: El Galleon has long been a hangout for local fishermen to grab a drink and a quick bite. El Galleon is known for its quirky decor (perhaps a tribute to its name – a galleon is an armed Spanish merchant ship), for karaoke and affordable libations. In addition to their year-round service and prime location on Crescent Avenue, El Galleon also hosts special holiday events during the year on Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve.

Bluewater is also no stranger to Avalon. Currently two other restaurants by Bluewater are open to the public: Bluewater Avalon and Toyon Grill. Located in the new Trailhead Visitor Center as imagined by Catalina Island Conservancy, Toyon Grill offers a space for private events as well as happy hour, a full bar and patio dining to soak up the views, and even picnic boxes for on-the-go meals before a hike or outdoor adventure.

Ulcickas and Staunton told OC Register they have no plans to change the menu, which offers steaks, prime rib, BBQ, King Crab legs and much more. The house-special ribs, a favorite dish offered, won a 2018 Taste Around of Avalon award for 2nd Place “Best Taste of Food.”

Renovations of the building is slated, but Bluewater owners will work with the original owners of El Galleon, Jack and Nora Tucey, to keep the character of the restaurant. Work to repair the restaurant will begin in September, after the busy summer season in Avalon, and the restaurant will reopen under Bluewater’s management sometime in fall.

Visit for more information about Bluewater Grill. More information about Toyon Grill can be found at El Galleon is located at 411 Crescent Avenue in Avalon on Catalina Island.

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