Our Story | Delaney Brothers

Delaney SeaHorse LogoThe Delaney family ran well-known food service businesses in Orange County, California for 40 years. Between 1948 and 1988, family members launched and operated retail seafood markets, food manufacturing and distribution outfits, and full-service restaurants. The “original” Delaney brothers–Bruce, Nick, and Fran–first opened Delaney Bros. Fish Market in 1948, in a dusty old lot on Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Two years later, in June of 1950, the little fish market moved to its permanent home at 2800 Lafayette Street in Newport Beach. In Newport, the business thrived. Along with the retail fish market, they started to deliver food products to local restaurants. In time, with over a thousand inventory items, they expanded their territory to San Diego and Los Angeles. For nearly 20 years, they stayed at Lafayette Street and served commercial accounts throughout southern California, including the United States Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Denny’s restaurants, the Carl’s Jr. hamburger stands, and the Ruben E. Lee, an iconic shipboard restaurant in Newport Harbor.

In 1969, Delaney Bros. was sold to Continental Coffee, which was eventually acquired by Sysco Foods. The youngest brother, Fran Delaney, moved on to open Delaney’s Seafood Restaurant at 630 Lido Park Drive, directly across the bay from the old Delaney Bros. building. During the next 19 years, Delaney’s went on to become an Orange County institution. In the 1970s and 1980s, they opened nine locations in Orange and Riverside counties. Through the determination of Fran Delaney, several talented local chefs, and a little luck of the Irish, Delaney’s created a dedicated following and enormous goodwill. Credited with creating the first Oyster Bar in southern California, they also had one of the first Sunday Brunch offerings and poured a well of all premium liquors. But above all, Delaney’s became known for their clam chowder and their unmatched salad dressings.

When Delaney’s restaurants were sold in 1988, the doors closed on 40 years of a storied presence in Orange County. Today, we’re proud to launch Delaney Bros. to carry on the traditions that were created and sold by Delaney Bros and Delaney’s Restaurants.