The Olde Port Fish and Seafood Market will close its doors in Arroyo Grande and move the shop to Grover Beach this month.
Citing the expiration of their lease as the cause of the closure, the owners Butch and Barbara Powers wrote in a letter that the new store will be located at 1160 West Grand Ave., Grover Beach. The new site will have more tanks to hold live crabs, fish and other seafood and is expected to open in March of this year. The hours are scheduled to be Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“First and foremost we want to support our local fisherman and buy their product,” said Barbara Powers.
The fishery offers fresh steamed crab. Patrons have the chance to eat it hot right on the pier or the crab can be blanched if the customer wants to consume it at a different locale without fear of the crustacean being overcooked.
“There hasn’t been an opportunity for people to eat these crabs hot out of the steamer…you should be able to at a seafood port,” said Barbara.
The live fish tanks will also ensure that fresh fish is always available even if the weather does not cooperate with the local fisherman’s schedules.
The top sellers are oysters, crabs and smoked fish. The oysters are provided fresh by Grassy Bay Oyster Company in Morro Bay, which tends and sorts by hands all the oysters they sell. Currently, the oysters sold tend to be on the larger side and take about 3 years to cultivate. The Powers have already discussed plans with Grassy Bay about purchasing smaller oysters for “shooters” and expect them to be a big selling item.
“We go through a lot of oysters,” said Barbara. “People come from all over for those oysters.”
The Powers, who are longtime figures in the Central Coast fishing industry, acquired the business in the spring of 2017 and immediately started to renovate the historic site at the end of the pier. They removed a long-standing fillet table to make room for additional tanks to hold live seafood and have made various repairs to the facility. The couple also owns the Treasure Chest at both Avila and Hanford piers that sell beach-related trinkets under $20.
By Mark A. Diaz