The Catch to bring seafood back to former Catfish King

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Representatives with The Catch announced plans to open a new location in the former Catfish King site in Sherman.

A long-time Sherman restaurant building may soon see new life and redevelopment as a part of a small seafood chain. Representatives with The Catch, a Tyler-based restaurant chain, recently announced plans to expand into Sherman by opening a location in the former Catfish King building.

The yellow wooden building, near the intersection of U.S. Highways 75 and 82, was the home of Catfish King for nearly 30 years before it closed its doors for good in October 2019. At the time, representatives with Applebee's released plans to convert the building into a new location.

The project made its way through Sherman's Planning & Zoning Commission in late 2019. However, representatives with Applebee's confirmed Thursday that it is no longer pursuing the site.

The city of Sherman received a building permit request to renovate the former Catfish King location along U.S. Highway 75 into a new Applebee's location in 2019. However, those plans fizzled out in 2020.

"The Catch is a fast-casual seafood concept that we started in Tyler, Texas in 2015," said Catch Partner David Weaver. "We've grown to about 20 locations and we are going to buy the building and turn it into a Catch."

Weaver said the restaurant's focus will be on both fresh water and oceanic seafood with a Cajun flair. Items will include fried and grilled fish, among other seafood options.

In the years following its founding, The Catch has expanded from its origins in Tyler to about 20 locations. The move to Sherman represents ongoing efforts to increase the restaurant's foothold into the greater Dallas-Fort Worth market, Weaver said.

Weaver's interest in the region as a possible home for a location started about four years ago, but was re-sparked by the success of a recent location in Denton.

"Sherman's just a growing part of the DFW Metropolitan area that we want to be a part of," Weaver said.

Weaver and Co-Partner Blake Terry said they do not anticipate an extended remodel and construction phase for the project. The company has made its model based on utilizing second-generation buildings, much like the former Catfish King site.

"We've gone into old taco shops, burger places, you name it," Weaver said.

Traditionally, the largest time sink in redeveloping a restaurant is the remodel of the kitchen. However, Weave and Terry said the company is adept at working with existing kitchen space.

With regard to the remainder of the building, Terry and Weaver said they plan to fresh the decor and site, but it will still have some of the trappings of its past

"It will have some of the nostalgic feel of catfish king, but it will definitely be a Catch," Weaver said.

"We will definitely put our own design in there," Terry added. "We have kind of a new modern design that we use in our stores."

Weaver said the company is working on finalizing the purchase of the building. Once that is complete, he hopes that the location could be open within three to five months.