In the two years since this preservative- and chemical-free seafood market opened, 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 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.”