On Deck - A new seafood store

A new fresh seafood market — The Crab Deck Seafood Store— is sailing into Rochester soon.

Expect lots of fresh halibut, many varieties of shrimp, scallops, sushi-grade tuna, sea bass, cold and warm water lobster, calamari, scallops and crab.

"It is like an outlet store for seafood," says owner Gary Wolter, who also has a Crab Deck shop in North Mankato. "The middle man is totally gone."

He hopes to dock his new 1,850-square-foot market by mid-June in the Crossroads Plaza on South Broadway by the new Maid-Rite Diner.

The majority of the fish comes from the northwest and most of the shellfish is being brought from the east coast.


So how does fresh seafood make its way to land-locked Minnesota?

Wolter also owns Southbay Transport, which loads up the 53-foot trailers of 19 trucks with shellfish and fish. The trucks then cross the U.S., delivering to customers like Cub Foods and Food Lion.

And each trailer has some room left over for Wolter to bring the tastes of the sea to Minnesota.

The Crab Deck's signature offering is gigantic Alaskan Red King Crab Legs that were called "as big as baseball bats," when Wolter opened in North Mankato.

Why go to the trouble to load up fresh scallops on the docks directly from a family fishing operation in New Bedford, Mass., to bring to the Midwest, along with all the other catches?

"It is all about the quality of life, I think," said the Seattle native. "Our slogan is 'Live longer, eat more fish.'"

He expects to hire five or six people from the Rochester area to staff the store.

Barb Phelpsand LeighAnn Peltomaof Paramark Real Estate Serviceshandled the deal.


Sushi returns

While I'm on the subject of fresh aquatic flavors, I should point out that sushi has resurfaced in downtown Rochester.

In April, Sushi Ittoclosed its doors on South Broadway to become Katz's World Bistro and Bar. And while its serves a variety of international cuisines, sushi was not on the menu.

Until last weekend.

Now sushi fans can roll into Katz's to get their fill of a variety of dishes with names like the Wabasha Roll or the Broadway Roll.

Biz buzz

* OK.. yeah..uh, like many other folks in the Med City, I hear that staffers of the wildly-popular Trader Joe's specialty grocery shops in the Twin Cities are telling Rochester customers that a store is on the way here before the end of the year.

Is it true?


After three chats with the company in the last couple weeks, I have no answer.

I believe the Hawaiian-shirt-clad workers are saying that Trader Joe's is coming here.

But the funky food retailer says there is nothing to talk about.

So a deal could be in the works, just not nailed down yet. Another possibility is that some store clerks are confused or maybe they just have a sadistic sense of humor.

No matter what, I'm still on the case.

I think it is an almost-empty case of Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck wine. Heh.

We'll see if TJ's will reach beyond the TCs to start selling in the Med City.

* On a completely different path, it sounds like a long-time downtown business is working on expanding, in fact doubling its size.


I'll keep tracking this one to see it the store will step up and out.

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