The minute the shop opened its doors, throngs of customers filled the cozy lobster house, with owner Susan Povich and her team of friendly employees busily marinating and cooking live lobsters that come straight from Maine.
The lobster pound is one of the most popular grab-and-go places in Red Hook. Last year, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed most parts of the neighborhood, the Pound was not spared, and like many other vendors had to be shut down due to extreme flooding.
“We had to renovate the whole place, since the water was three feet high,” said manager Mark Franzen. “Everything here had been renovated, even the equipment.”
While most small seafood restaurants store their live produce out of sight, the lobster pound uses two large tanks that had been installed in the front of the store, where customers get a chance to see exactly what goes between their buns.
“We usually import the lobsters from Maine once or twice a week, where they come straight off the boat” said Franzen.
The savory aroma of butter, paprika, fresh scallion, and of course, lobsters, fills the entire shop and makes it irresistible for customers to leave empty handed.
Because the Pound was so well received by the locals, the owner decided to start a lobster food truck, where it delivers the taste of Red Hook all over New York City.
“We go to Williamsburg, Midtown, and many other parts of the city,” said Caitlin Hubner, who organizes catering events for the Pound. “We cater weddings, parties, birthdays, and many more.”
Due to renovations, the lobster truck will not start running until April 1, since the whole vehicle was destroyed last year. When regular customers first heard of their closing, they only had one reaction: disappointed.
“People come from all over the city, especially during spring and summer,” said Franzen.
It isn’t hard to imagine the small shop being filled with customers, after all, who needs to go all the way to Maine for a mouthful of delectable lobsters when you can get it in Red Hook?
“We are ready to grow for the next 20 years,” said Povich, who was busy preparing the next order for her customers.