Heavenly Dining Meets Historic Charm: Wilson’s Seafood and Grill Serves Culinary Delights in a Restored Church, Capturing the Legacy of David C. Wilson

Wilson's seafood church exterior
Photo courtesy of Wilson's Seafood

If you think the food at Wilson’s Seafood and Grill in Midlothian is Heavenly, well, it is served in a church.

The new restaurant on Founders Row opened on May 30 in the Historic Old Church. The response was overwhelming, owner Shawn Wilson said.

“We wanted to host a grand opening event. However, we received over 1,000 email requests to attend for a restaurant that seats 160 people. That is a very strong response,” Wilson said.

The restaurant was one of the first businesses to open on Founders Row. It is an extension of the family legacy of David’s Seafood in Cedar Hill, started years ago by his father, the late David C. Wilson.

And why choose the Historic Old Church? Shawn said it seemed the perfect location for him and his wife, Suzanne, to carry on what David had begun. According to their website, the Historic Church at Founders Row in Midlothian, Texas was once known as The First Christian Church. It was originally located at 319 Poplar Street in Italy, Texas. The building is an example of fine craftsmanship and architecture popular in the 1890’s when the church was founded.


“When the developers of Founder’s Row showed me the building and preliminary plans, I knew that this was the place to continue my father’s legacy,” he said. “My family and the restaurant community are proud of what we accomplished and believe he would be proud as well.”

church at night
Photo credit Wilson’s seafood

Shawn grew up in a restaurant family and said he would not have chosen any other way to live his life.

“Food and wine have become our love language. It becomes personal to me that people love our food as well as when they dislike something,” he said. “We chase the exact ingredient that will make each dish better for our dinners.”

One of their most popular appetizers is David’s Calamari, along with fried alligator. The best-selling entrees are the catfish and shrimp platter, along with cedar-planked salmon. The pecan-crusted fish is also a guest favorite.

Shawn’s personal favorites include gumbo and crab cakes. The gumbo is made from scratch, like all their food, except for some desserts.

“The gumbo has a deep flavor from the roux. I say it is the best restaurant gumbo in DFW,” Shawn said. “The crab cakes because you taste crab meat. Our crab cakes are not deep fried or filled with other ingredients to make the cake look larger. They are made using two types of crabmeat, a little spice, and a binding ingredient. Each bit is full of flavor and not filler ingredients.”

Shawn said talks are already in the early stages of expanding next door to the current location.

“The developers and my team have some ideas,” he said. “We will put something together. However, there are still short-term goals for things at Wilson’s Seafood, like happy hour and a lunch menu.”

Shawn quickly noted that while he receives a lot of attention and accolades for the restaurant, the success is because of a team of people.

“Credit for the interior design goes to Stephen (Hidlebaugh) and Logan (Gaddis), the visionaries behind Founder’s Row. The wonder food is because Sergio (Jimenez), who worked with my father for many years, is in the kitchen, ensuring it tastes like ‘Mr. David’ would like,” he said. “The culture of service is the product of a lot of hard work and long hours from the General Manager, Stacy Black. Stacy also worked for many years in Cedar Hill with my father.”

Location:Founder’s Row
322 E Avenue F,
Midlothian, TX 76065

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters