OCEAN CITY – The couple behind a popular West Ocean City eatery is now bringing fresh seafood to Ocean City with the new Victoria’s Seafood.
Victoria’s Seafood, in the hard-to-miss hot pink building on 80th Street, is the latest venture of “Captain Ernie” Emerson and Victoria Volpe. The duo formerly operated Capt. Ernie’s Seafood in West Ocean City.
“We’re going to reproduce the same thing that was there that everybody loved,” Volpe said.
She and Emerson are no strangers to the seafood business. Emerson spent years running Bahama Mamas and restaurants in Baltimore before that.
“We know crabs very well,” Volpe said.
She and Emerson made the decision to relocate to 80th Street last fall because they believed a spot on Coastal Highway in the heart of Ocean City would get more business than the shop in West Ocean City.
“We fought to be seen in that little shopping center,” Volpe said.
Once they settled on the new site, they spent six months turning the former bookstore into a seafood market. Book shelves, which had been throughout the shop, were replaced with coolers and refrigerators. Emerson’s previous restaurant experience made the redesign process easier.
“He knew exactly how he was going to lay it out,” Volpe said.
Crab themed décor was added both inside and out the building. A spinning six-foot wooden crab directs passersby to the shop, while a mural featuring a giant crab and the Victoria’s Seafood mermaid is designed to catch the eye of drivers heading north on Coastal Highway.
“It was a labor of love,” Volpe said.
Volpe plans for the shop to be ready for customers this weekend. Shoppers will have an array of fresh seafood to choose from and for those who don’t want to do the cooking themselves, Victoria’s Seafood will sell a variety of ready-to-eat food. Specialty items include crab stuffed egg and seafood pizza.
As expected, much of the menu consists of steamed seafood, highlighted by crabs. What makes Victoria’s Seafood different than many area restaurants, however, is the way the crabs are sorted.
“We weigh our crabs,” Emerson said.
Instead of being measured by length, the crabs are measured by weight by Emerson himself, the shop’s resident “crabologist.” Volpe says Emerson’s methods proved popular when he ran Capt. Ernie’s and she expects them to prove successfuk in the new location.
“People would come in and be amazed,” she said. “We have whatever you need to enjoy a nice meal.”
The new restaurant will also offer delivery of crabs from 45th Street to 120th Street. Volpe is hoping the new location will please customers enough to receive the same Google 5-star rating Capt. Ernie’s did.
“That’s what we strive for,” she said.
For information on Victoria’s Seafood visit www.crabsoceancity.com or call 443-664-5198.