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THE DISH: Gulf Coast Grill

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Staff Photos: Meghan Kotowski Gulf Coast Grill serves, from bottom clockwise, shrimp and grits, fish tacos, shrimp po' boys and Mississippi mud pies.

ON THE MENU

• Emerald Coast chef salad — Salad greens topped with crawfish tails, mahi mahi, shrimp and crab meat with your choice of dressing, $11

• Sparky’s platter — Fried oysters, catfish and shrimp served with hushpuppies, fries, cole slaw and remoulade sauce, $17

• Low country boil — Seasoned steamed shrimp, andouille sausage, new potatoes, corn and onion served with garlic bread and side salad, $14.50

• Crawfish etouffee — Lightly blackened crawfish etouffee sauce over Jasmine rice served with garlic bread and side salad, $15

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The restaurant is painted with bright colors and decorated with scenes from the beach.

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Gulf Coast Grill

Gulf Coast Grill

3463 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suite 101, Suwanee

678-765-8270

www.gulfcoastgrillsuwanee.com

Open since: Sept. 27

Owners: Husband and wife team Amy Fitzpatrick and Mark Deschaine

Location: Gulf Coast Grill is located in the Main Street Common shopping center, next to Tangles Hair Salon, where Ale House was formerly located.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays

Atmosphere: When owners Amy Fitzpatrick and Mark Deschaine found a space to open their new restaurant, they knew they needed to do a lot of work because it was formerly a bar called the Ale House.

"The ceiling were black, the booths were black and there was a glassed-in pool room with smoking," Fitzpatrick said.

So with a group of friends, they stripped the place down, painted the walls bright orange and green, scrubbed the bathrooms clean and brightened the space up.

"We wanted it to be a fun feel, family atmosphere that, quite frankly, people would come in a feel like they're some place else," she said.

Now the walls are light and decorated with beach themed trinkets like fishing rods, nets and personal pictures taken by Deschaine on the Gulf.

The fun isn't just for the adults -- the couple added a game room to keep the kiddies entertained. Inside, there is a Wii and PlayStation 3.

"In the spring, we'd like to put cornhole and other games outside in the patio area for people to play," Fitzpatrick said. "We want people to know that I stress that they are our guest. This is our home and I would never want anyone to feel like I wasn't hospitable in my own home."

Menu: The emphasis is on Gulf Coast seafood.

"My husband grew up ... in lower Alabama. He's used to a lot of the beach feel," Fitzpatrick said. "I grew up all over, but Texas is home. I did live in Mississippi for nine years and have relatives in New Orleans, so both of us were used to fabulous food, very fresh."

The top sellers on the menu include shrimp and grits, po' boys, fish tacos and shrimp baskets -- and none of the food comes pre-battered from the freezer section.

"It's really important for us for things to be domestic," she said. "We can get things from China ... but our seafood is seasonal from where we can get it, whether it be the Atlantic Coast or the Gulf Coast."

The produce comes from the farmer's market on a regular basis and Fitzpatrick makes the desserts in house. She owned her own bakery for six years at one point.

The restaurant also serves an $8 lunch menu, children's menu and brunch on Sundays.

Things you might not know: There is live music every Friday and Saturday night appropriate for all ages.