Many Local Restaurants Out of Oysters - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Many Local Restaurants Out of Oysters

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Popular seafood restaurants in the area are starting to feel the effects of a lackluster oyster season in Apalachicola.

The bay was closed to harvesting last Wednesday.

A lot of restaurants depend on those oysters for a large portion of their revenue, especially during this time of the year.

"People come to the beach wanting oysters and we have not had an endless supply of them this year," said Mike Thomas, owner of Mike's Cafe. "Some nights we've got them and some nights we don't."

Disappointment has been a common feeling for oyster lovers who have been trying to get Apalachicola oysters in area restaurants.

"The ability to come in sit down and eat four of five dozen oysters is going to be gone I'm afraid, people are going to eat them as an appetizer and go from there."

The Apalachicola Bay shut down last week, due to flooding and water contaminates, leaving local businesses to fend for themselves.

"We've been getting some from a couple of the rivers in Virginia, we've been getting some from Louisiana, and every now and then there are private leases in Texas where you can wind up getting some.. That's where they have been coming from partially, up until our beds closed, and that's all we are getting now."

Imported oysters aren't quite the same.

"The quality of oysters that we are getting right now aren't what they used to be and they aren't what local people are used too."

"When I first opened 10 years ago they closed the bays for like three months and I tried out of state oysters and the quality just wasn't there, the taste wasn't there," said Jimmy Crowe, Owner of Cato's Seafood.

The shortage has resulted in huge losses for local businesses.

"The average ticket on oysters is probably three or four dozen, so the average ticket is probably around 30 dollars, so you know you are probably losing a 30 dollar sale."

30 dollars.. seven or eight times per day.. for many days in a row.

"I got my oyster bin all set up and ready to go, so once I get some I'll be ready to shuck," said Crowe.

The bay will be closed until the waterline is low enough to perform testing.