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Real big fish: Coastal Seafoods moves to new, upgraded home with cafe in Seward

Fish art dangling above the new location's eat-in counter

Fish art dangling above the new location's eat-in counter Courtesy Coastal Seafoods

From fine dining icons Travail Kitchen and Amusements to local farms like Iron Shoe, establishments from all over the food spectrum have started serving marketplace-style offerings and pantry standards to bolster traditional favorites their communities first knew and loved. Thus far, these savvy pivots have proven instrumental in adapting to serve customers wants and needs during the pandemic. 

…Then we have some of the finest seafood specialists in Minneapolis, who have taken a page from this playbook and inverted it, in a most clever way.

Starting Monday, Coastal Seafoods will be charting a course for their most bountiful waters yet. Since 1985, the fishmongers have been best known for air-lifting fresh tuna, bay scallops, eel, and cockles six days a week to a Bahamian blue market in Seward (and their St. Paul annex). But now they’re breaking with tradition bigly by jettisoning that 800-square-foot Minneapolis location after so many years in favor of a new location.

For anyone caught unawares by the move, rest assured they'll still be able to find the upgraded version of Coastal without trouble: It’s directly across the street from the old shop, right off the Greenway.

So why move at all? Well, this baby is kind of like if Coastal became a yacht. It finally matches the top-tier product they've always sold. The space is nearly four times the size of the previous teal holdout, and while they’re sticking to curbside service through the end August, when September arrives, they’ll begin allowing up to 10 customers at a time inside the new digs to partake in the space’s full possibilities. 

Amenities are set to include the largest dedicated seafood counter in the state (they’ve been measuring, all ye pretenders to Triton's throne) alongside a modern gourmet foods market with cheese and charcuterie service, plus a bunker stocked with frozen and refrigerated goods. They've also got a dry goods section that rounds out pantries for those of you who get the squicks from squid.

Part of the increase in footprint also allows more room (and space between diners) at their cafe. Guests can dine in at the source of their snacks, with an option to belly up to an eat-in counter and watch meals being prepared, or watch as, um, staff does to sea creatures what you dare not (or don't know how to do) in your own sinks. 

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Though education has always been an integral component to every visit to Coastal – staffed by knowledgeable and patient counterfolk ready and willing to explain what you just witnessed above, or what makes yellowfin different from yellowtail – the cafe affords Coastal’s specialty classes room to breathe. Here, the outfit's pros have space and tools to teach curious students sushi basics, oyster shucking, and more, while opening the door to tour Spanish tapas or instructing lovers on proper seafood date night etiquette, too.

Turns out a lot more than fine fish can fit in a super-sized sloop! 

Come aboard 2007 E. 24th St. at your socially distanced leisure beginning August 31, or pick up any of Coastal Seafoods’ smoked delights, takeout items, and fresh catches curbside beginning this Monday, August 17.