By Ronald W. Weathersby
Restaurateurs Jamal Britton and Darren Morgan were firmly ensconced in their Philadelphia neighborhood operating an extremely successful seafood restaurant for over a decade when they were visited six years ago by a small group of people from Nashville. The restaurant was extremely busy at the time and the folks from Nashville said maybe they should go elsewhere to get some seafood.
Britton overheard the conversation and went in the back and prepared platters for the group and gave it to them telling them that none of the other restaurants would have catered to them in that manner. As a result the group from Nashville returned again and again while in Philadelphia and an endearing friendship began.
After several conversations Britton and Morgan left their native Philadelphia and moved to Nashville where they now operate Seafood Sensations located at 2719 Jefferson Street near the intersection of Ed Temple Blvd.
The restaurant which has been opened for a month has created an instant buzz around Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College and Fisk University and Universities across town.
“We give the best quality of food at a decent price,” said Morgan, 47. “We serve Philly-type seafood and make our own sauces and blend our own seasoning. Our taste is very distinctive.”
Since its opening the restaurant has attracted a diverse clientele that includes pastors, professors, staff and students from neighboring schools, area professionals and firefighters from the nearby Metro Fire Station. The owners call the response to their enterprise “fantastic.”
Local business owner Gary Dennis of Private Professional Services, LLC says he is a big fan of the newest restaurant on Historic Jefferson Street.
“I come here three times a week,” exclaimed Dennis as he waited for his lunch order last week. I noticed the restaurant the third day it was open and decided to take a look and since then I have brought people in who have, in turned brought people in. They have something great going on here. What they have here you can’t get anywhere else in North Nashville.”
Many patrons not only rave about the food they are impressed by the service and the attentiveness of the owners. Britton and Morgan say that they are introducing “Philly-style” seafood to the area and so far the reception has been overwhelming.
“Philly-style is different than any seafood in Nashville,’ said Britton, 40. “We get a lot of customers who know southern style fish and New Orleans style fish and they truly enjoy what we serve. When we first opened our biggest seller was probably the whiting and catfish platters but recently the Dungeness crab has been our best seller. I don’t think the people here knew much about Dungeness crab and as we have introduced them to the product they have been very receptive.”
The restaurant serves four hefty pieces of whiting, catfish, steamed shrimp, King crab and of course cluster of Dungeness crab legs at their North Nashville address seven days a week from 11 am until 10 pm Monday through Thursday; 12 noon until 11 pm Friday and Saturday and 12 noon until 8 pm on Sunday.
The long hours, hard work and their collective commitment to provide a truly distinctive dining experience has paid off for the two restaurateurs as the number of patrons visiting their business seemingly increases daily. In one short month they have become the talk of the town.
Although new to Nashville both Britton and Morgan have an appreciation for the historic nature of their new location.
“We love the fact that we are now a part of Historic Jefferson Street,” said Morgan. “We looked at a lot of locations but we are glad to be here on Jefferson Street. We want to be a part of this community that has a heritage going back before the Civil Rights demonstrations and sit-ins. We want to be a part of the rebirth of the heritage associated with this street and this community.”
For more information and phone-in orders call Seafood Sensations at (615) 678-1070.