King's Seafood Company company operates its restaurants under the 555 East, Water Grill, Meat On Ocean, King's Fish House, Lou & Mickey’s, Fish Camp, and Pier Burger brand names. King's Seafood Company, Inc. was formerly known as University Restaurant Group, Inc. and changed its name to King's Seafood Company, Inc. in 1998.
King's Seafood Company is a family business and has evolved over 70 years of experience. In 1945, Lou and Mickey King, Jeff and Sam King's respective fathers, began to build the King's Restaurant chain throughout Southern California. After a hugely successful run of almost 40 years, the family sold the chain of six restaurants to Tiny Naylor's, Inc. in 1982.
As part of the transition, Sam King went to work for Tiny Naylor’s while Jeff King sat on the 1984 Olympic Committee, to be hosted in Los Angeles. Acquisition of The Carriage Club, a restaurant in Long Beach was offered to Tiny Naylor, but they declined. Sam King saw potential though, so he quit, and called Jeff King to propose a joint venture. Jeff agreed, and they signed their first lease together the day before Thanksgiving in 1983, and six weeks before the 1984 Olympics. 555 East was their first restaurant concept, and they still own and operate the business today. At that time, the company was called University Restaurant Group, a name inspired by the ‘friendly’ rivalry of USC and UCLA, Sam and Jeff's respective alma maters. They held that name until 1998, when they ultimately decided to change the name of the company to best embody their goals and ambition of "Delivering Great Seafood to America."
For the next 20 years they continued to grow and open more seafood restaurants, and in 2008, they launched an exclusive seafood distribution operation to directly support their growing stable of restaurants. King’s Seafood Distribution now provides pristine quality seafood, which they personally hand select, monger, and deliver to all King's restaurants.