Coastal Cave, a long-time purveyor of live lobster, Dungeness crab and smoked seafood delicacies, ends its tenure at the Reading Terminal Market with the close of business today.
I wasn't able to speak with him personally but proprietor Steven Cho is retiring from the market. His family also operates Ritz Seafood in Voorhees, New Jersey.
Coastal Cave's departure leaves another big hole for the market to fill. Last month Delilah's closed (reportedly temporarily) due to bankruptcy proceedings.
For the past year or so Coastal Cave updated its menu with some unusual sandwiches. Among them: pickled herring, smoked salmon and sardine Vietnamese sandwiches (bahn mi). Until Herschel's East Side Deli opened Coastal Cave was my source for Sunday morning lox.
RTM General Manager Paul Steinke has dozens of businesses that would love to locate to the high-traffic market. But many want to sell "carnival" foods that the market won't permit: popcorn, funnel cake, etc.
Update, Tuesday, April 3
Steinke's first order of business will be finding a
home for the lobsters and lobster tank, which remain crawling and
bubbling away, respectively, in the now otherwise empty stall.
The RTM plans to ask the three full-service
fishmongers at the market -- Golden Fish, John Yi Fish Market, and Wan's
Seafood -- to bid on the tanks. Expect one of them to jump at the
chance to take over this part of Coastal's business.
visited the market this morning, I had expected to see the lobsters
gone, since proprietor Steven Cho's family operates a restaurant, Ritz
Seafood, in Voorhees, New Jersey, where they could be put to good use. But they were still on display.