Claws Reaches North

A new south shore staple takes over a north shore tradition.

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In the two years since this preservative- and chemical-free seafood market opened, Claws Seafood Market, Crab Shack & Clam Bar at 20 Main Street in West Sayville has risen to become one of the best on the island. Their outrageous, jam-packed lobster rolls propelled this charming, pristine shop to fast acclaim. Co-owners Frank Palermo and Chris Meyer have been busy expanding their offerings — from wine and local beer to accompany an updated canal-side dining menu — to challenging themselves to shipping in even more reasonably priced, untreated exotic whole fish and soak-free seafood from around the world, while remaining committed to local sourcing.

This growth has now burst the seams of their little red shop and, much to the good luck of Suffolk County’s North Shore, has reached St. James.

Due to open after extensive renovations to Claws’ spic-and-span standards on February 17, the store will occugy Oceans’ Bounty old space at 415 North Country Road. Gail and Mark Nelson, the “mom-and-pop” who manned this local market for the past 15 years, are hanging up their shrimping boots for good and passing the torch.

“They say that certain people come into your life for a reason, and [a few] months ago, we met the most amazing couple,” says Palermo. “The Nelsons are a mirror image of us, with old-school values and the dedication to do whatever it takes to satisfy their customers. I’ve been doing this for 27 years and have never come across another couple like this.” 

For a sneak preview of the variety and quality of Palermo and Meyer’s aquatic edibles, take a look at their immense library of photos on Facebook.

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A native Long Islander, former food editor in New Orleans, and current copywriter in the travel industry, Su-Jit Lin-DeSimone has four great passions in life, and they all feed (!) into each other: food, travel, fitness, and the written word. All she wants to do in life is to simply to see all the sights, taste all the flavors, do all the things ... and tell everyone.