Jim Dietz Jr. joined the restaurant business at the tender age of 13. Washing dishes, doing prep work, helping out in any way he could at his father’s restaurant Joe Fish Seafood Restaurant and Bar. Flash forward nearly 20 years, and Jim junior is director of operations at his family’s quartet of North Shore restaurants—two locations of Joe Fish, specializing in fresh seafood, naturally; The Loft Restaurant & Pub, with a focus on steaks and gastropub selections like flatbreads; and the brand-new Dos Lobos American Taqueria and Tequila Bar.
“We have a passion for food,” says Dietz, who says that people are sometimes surprised to learn the group is locally owned and operated. “That’s why we keep opening new restaurants. It’s not even about making money.”
Operating Joe Fish was a natural fit for Jim Dietz senior, says his son, noting that his dad worked at Legal Sea Foods for many years before stepping out on his own. And with 19 years of experience with fish and steak, moving in a new direction with the taqueria is exciting to both the family and their customers.
“Everybody loves tacos,” Dietz says. “We are using them as a vehicle to express our passion for fresh food.” But as the name implies, this isn’t a straight-up Mexican restaurant. Rather than sticking to that niche, they wanted to have fun with the menu, pulling from international flavors to offer everything from a Vietnamese-inflected banh mi taco to a southern-style pulled pork.
Courtesy of Dos Lobos
With the new restaurant launched, Dietz says they are setting their sights on a revamp of the menu at Joe Fish in April, admitting that even he has gotten a bit bored with their offerings.
“New England is one of the best places in the world to get seafood,” he says, noting that Joe Fish takes delivery of the freshest fish six days a week. “We want to stick to our roots, but add some new ideas from around the world.” The result will be more emphasis on the raw bar and more small plates— but never fear. Staples like haddock Maria, katsu tuna, their luscious lobster rolls, and grilled fish will remain forever.
“I’m very excited about the process,” Dietz says. “When I can’t sleep, I’m googling restaurants to get new ideas.”