Father and son duo Tim and Nathan Brasher wanted to bring the flavor of Hawaiian seafood to Plano when they opened Coconut’s Fish Cafe at Preston Park Village, 1900 Preston Road, Ste. 329, Plano, in 2015.
Tim traveled to Maui, Hawaii—where the original Coconut’s Fish Cafe is based—to learn more about the recipes and find a way to tailor the fast-casual seafood concept to Plano’s current dining landscape.
“We went out to Maui, visited the restaurant [and] really came to love the fact that it was fresh, healthy and a little different,” he said.
With wooden tables in the shape of surfboards and a spacious outdoor patio, the cafe covers a space of about 2,700 square feet. Tim also wanted to start a business that would involve his son, Nathan.
The signature fish tacos served at Coconut’s Fish Cafe feature grilled chunks of fresh fish, such as mahimahi or ono, with cheese, red salsa, diced tomatoes and mango salsa on two white tortillas. Given the size of the tacos, Nathan said he and his staff members always encourage guests to eat them with their hands rather than using a knife and fork.
“That’s how you taste all the flavors,” he said.
Executive Chef Eric Lea joined the Brashers and draws from his experience working in kitchens in Las Vegas and Miami to ensure the quality of the food is maintained at Coconut’s Fish Cafe, where most of the ingredients come from Hawaii.
“The emphasis is on fresh and healthy food. All the fish is handline caught out of Maui, Hawaii,” Lea said. “All of the ingredients we use … they all come from Hawaii so they have a different kind of flavor profile.”
Staff members at the cafe cut fresh fish and veggies and prepare the restaurant’s variety of sauces for the day, Nathan said. Tim said his customers expect a different level of service and quality from a fast-casual restaurant like Coconut’s.
In addition, the Brashers decided to reduce their prices in January in order to meet their guests’ expectations.
“We don’t have the overhead costs that some of the full-service restaurants do,” he said.
For Nathan, working with family helps him instill the same level of trust and familiarity among his employees. Tim said his son works about 70 hours a week, if need be, and keeps the other staff members motivated about their work as well.
“I have always loved going out and trying new food,” Nathan said. “This is a great opportunity for me to learn something new and get entrenched in a different world that I hadn’t been in and take advantage of that and learn all that I could.”