By Sondra Barr
Photos by Sondra Barr

Chula Seafood opened the doors to a new Grayhawk location last month. Located on the southeast corner of Hayden and Thompson Peak Parkway in the former Hi-Health space in Hayden Peak Crossing, the family operated restaurant serves fresh fish delivered straight from the company’s San Diego, California, fishery.

Chula Grayhawk is a high quality, fast-casual fresh fish market, restaurant, and bar. There are no reservations, just walk in, order at the counter, and grab a seat. At the counter, you can order fresh, sustainably sourced fish by the pound, poke, smoked fish, take home kits, and more. Menu options include chowder, oysters, cioppino, poke bowls, fish tacos, sashimi platters, and more, along with a full bar.

The idea for a fresh fish restaurant in Arizona was hatched by the Heflin family in 2009. Raised in Arizona, the Heflin children moved to southern California when grown. There, they took up commercial fishing before taking the plunge into wholesale distribution. Their boat, FV CHULA, specializes in harpoon-caught and deep-set buoy Swordfish and other species off the California coast. It is one of very few boats in that area to be certified to fish using the Deep-Set Buoy Gear technique, considered to be one of the most sustainable forms of fishing, as lines are dropped below the turtle layer and fish are brought to the surface alive.

Recognizing the need for fresh fish in the desert, Jim Heflin, who started it all, runs the California division, and his son Jon, a Phoenix resident, operates the Arizona restaurants with his wife Mandy Heflin and Hogan Jamison. Locations include the original Chula Seafood in South Scottsdale, an uptown Phoenix location, and now the Grayhawk location.

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