Hans Mair, the owner and founder of the restaurant, lived and worked in the Bahamas for four years before moving to Houston and has incorporated an island flair into the dishes at Sundance Grill II.
“I learned a lot about the island food,” he said. “I learned about cooking with fresh fish, snapper, crabs and conch.”
Mair got started in the restaurant business after attending hotel management school in Austria. Before opening Sundance Grill, he worked as a chef on Holland America Line cruises, and he operated the popular Houston restaurant Vargo’s for 25 years.
Mair opened the first Sundance Grill in the Seabrook Marina in 1995, and in 2005 he added the second location in Kemah. In 2008, Hurricane Ike wiped out the first location, and Mair decided to not rebuild and focus on the Kemah restaurant, he said.
Sundance Grill II, which is a popular focal point for sailors and boaters, balances a nautical theme with an elegant ambience, Mair said. The restaurant’s tropical style is inspired by the bay and local marina.
The menu boasts a wide range of American- and Caribbean-inspired foods, including hamburgers and fresh seafood. The most popular dishes include fresh snapper and coconut fried shrimp, he said.
Tropical drinks and cocktails are also a specialty at the restaurant. The most popular cocktail is the Reggae Rum Punch, which is rum with grenadine and pineapple, orange and lime juice, Mair said.
Mair takes pride in the beautiful views that the restaurant has to offer, he said. Customers come for the food, but they stay to watch the sunset over the water on the outdoor patio.
The elegance, the beauty of the outdoor patio and scenery, and the ambience all flow together,” Mair said. “Our customers are well taken care of, and they remember the view and beauty of the place, so they come back.”
Sundance Grill II
800 Mariners Drive, Kemah
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 1 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.