Fish House revived as Saucy Crab
The Saucy Crab: The owner of the Fish House restaurant on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard has opened a new, more casual concept in the same location called The Saucy Crab.
The Fish House closed at the end of last year, said owner Charles Tirada. After renovations, The Saucy Crab opened Tuesday serving seafood priced by the half-pound such as crab, whole shrimp, peeled shrimp, crawfish, mussels, clams and lobster.
Prices range from $4.25 for a half-pound for black mussels to $13.90 for a half-pound of Alaskan king crab clusters.
Those seafood options can be tossed with a choice of four different sauces or served with a choice of four different dipping sauces. Side options, priced separately, include Cajun dirty rice, potatoes, sausage, potatoes, or corn on the cob or fries.
There are also options for fried seafood platters, such as catfish platter for $9.75, a fried tilapia platter for $8.90, or a fried oyster platter for $11.75.
Tirada said the concept is more geared toward customers who want to dive into their seafood with their hands. The restaurant is modeled after popular restaurants he visited on the West Coast, he said, adding that he’s looked to source some seafood, such as oysters, from North Carolina suppliers.
General manager Kevin Kelley said the restaurant aims to be more casual. The servers are wearing jeans, and there is brown paper covering the tables. The seafood is steamed in a bag with the selected sauce or sides, and delivered to the table in a bucket.
“Nobody does what we’re doing here in Durham,” Kelley said. “We’re in it for the long run,” he added.
Tirada said the restaurant aims to be a unique, destination location. He said the restaurant has a lot of traffic going by, but said access from Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard is a challenge.
In addition to owning The Saucy Crab, Tirada also owns Sushi Blues Café in Raleigh, and the Thai and sushi restaurant Shaba Shabu in Raleigh.
Both restaurants in Raleigh have been successful, he said, adding that they opened at a time when he said there was little competition for sushi and Thai food in the Triangle. He said competition has grown.
A sushi chef by training who said he’s originally from Thailand, Tirada said he came to the United States as a restaurant consultant, and helped open restaurants in Florida before coming to the Triangle area. Tirada has also gone by a different last name.
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