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You’ll Need the Secret Code to Visit This Plano Bar

The Wilfred in Plano is hiding in plain sight

A cocktail with a cherry garnish sits on a dark wood table top. It is bright orange. The booth behind it is turquoise.
Head to Plano for a classic cocktail at the Wilfred.
The Wilfred

The Wilfred, a classic bar from Ryan Oruch, co-owner and chef of Plano’s Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill, has opened its doors. A mix of a neighborhood cocktail lounge and a speakeasy, it features an intimate feel thanks to a sophisticated decor of deep banquettes, cozy couches, chandeliers, and a custom-designed bar. Patrons will find a keypad in Sea Breeze’s waiting area next door for entry. The passcode, which will change frequently, can be found on the bar’s social media channels or at the bottom of receipts from Sea Breeze.

“We wanted to give our guests something modern and exciting without them having to drive past I-635 to get there,” says Oruch. “It’s a progression of our business and adds something to the Plano area of real quality. When I travel, I search for inspiration everywhere, so the design amalgamates those experiences.”

A Collins glass holds a drink with herbs on the bottom, clear in the middle with ice, and that has grenadine on top.
The Wilfred’s cocktail program was conceived by Ourch, with help from a few well-known Dallas mixologists.
The Wilfred

Wilfred’s offers pre-Prohibition cocktails with development help from Tiny Victories’ Ryan Payne and Midnight Rambler’s cocktail maestro Gabe Sanchez. “It’s a great opportunity to work with like-minded, passionate people that understand what it takes to put out a quality product,” says Oruch of the collaboration. “We’ll have clean spirits that may not look like what you are used to but will surprise you in their originality and taste. Our drinks will complement the character of the bar.” Given Oruch’s role at Sea Breeze as the go-to wine guy, a luxury list of bottles and curated by-the-glass offerings will also be featured, highlighting reds and whites from Champagne and other regions of France.

The food spotlights small plates, with an opening menu that includes pastrami-cured salmon bites, tuna tartare, and lobster fried rice. “We’ll emphasize easy-to-eat items and different themed nights,” says Oruch. “Caviar bumps are all the rage, so that will be a fun addition to complement Champagne or cocktails.”

A plate with ribs coated in a thick marinade, with Thai peppers and thinly slashed radishes.
Asian sticky ribs are one of the tapas-style plates available.
The Wilfred
A bowl holds lobster, peppers, cucumber, and burrata cheese.
It is connected to a seafood market, so of course lobster is on the menu.
The Wilfred

The Freddy shot honors Oruch’s 11-year-old rescue dog and bar namesake, Wilfred, and $1 of each sale goes to new beneficiaries each quarter. “I want to give him this legacy for all he has given me,” Oruch says. “It will be a snack drink, just a little taste. We’ll give back to non-profits our guests are passionate about and animal charities in honor of Wilfred.” The first donation will be made to the Team Izzy Foundation, an organization that raises awareness for people impacted by childhood cancer — named for the granddaughter of longtime Sea Breeze customers.

Expect an eclectic mix of music. “I don’t want it to be so loud you can’t speak to somebody or so dark you can’t see anything,” says Oruch. “I want people to come in and have an intimate experience. That calls for a mellow chill-type ambiance. And we’ll feature vibey live music from local artists several nights a week.” The Wilfred will also host special events. Guests will have a place for corporate gatherings, personalized dinners, or special occasions like cocktail pairings.

“Ultimately,” says Oruch, “We want every guest to feel like any evening here is an exceptional experience.”

The Wilfred is at 4017 Preston Road, Suite 350, in Lakeside Market in Plano. Enter through the waiting room of the Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill. It is open now, with service Tuesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.