Eat Fried Seafood, Guilt-Free

Local seafood chain to donate portion of sales to Gulf Coast oil spill victims

Local seafood restaurants Big Shucks and Aw Shucks are rallying behind the Gulf Coast fishing industry.

”We've been open 27 years, developed relationships with the vendors in that area, and we thought it was our turn to give back,” said Nick Peterson, Big Shucks' general manager.

His three restaurants -- one in Richardson and two in Dallas -- will donate 15 percent of their sales on Tuesday and Thursday to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

“I think that's fantastic,” said Big Shucks customer Ellard Lamb III.

“I grew up near the coast, so it kind of hits home for me,” said diner Tania Long.

Big Shucks and Aw Shucks specialize in boiled shrimp, fried catfish and raw oysters. But because of the oil spill, they are competing with restaurants around the country for a limited supply of Gulf seafood.

“We generally get, between our three stores, 125 to 150 sacks of oysters a week, and that's been chopped in a third,” Peterson said.

The oil spill is also causing seafood prices to soar. Peterson said he had to cancel the restaurant's daily half-price oyster happy hour.

“It’s too expensive. We can’t afford to do that,” said Peterson, who estimates wholesale shrimp and oyster prices are up 25 percent. “Everyone has been very understanding about what’s going on. They are willing to go with it."

And customers are also willing to with eating for a good cause, even if it means returning to Big Shucks another night this week.

“We’ll be back. We'll be back,” Long said. "We come here all the time."

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