The owners of a new seafood restaurant in Southaven are betting that motorists won’t be able to miss the illuminated giant crab when they get off I-55 and are looking for a good place to eat.
Red Pier Cajun Seafood & Bar held a ribbon cutting Monday to officially open the location at 4975 Pepperchase Drive. The Memphis-based chain is owned by brothers Joe and Ryan Ng, who also own Red Hook Cajun Seafood & Bar.
Company spokesman Daniel Ellington said the restaurant is the 10th in the rapidly expanding chain, and the second one in Southaven. The family also owns the Red Hook Cajun Seafood & Bar on Airways Boulevard.
“It did so well that we said let’s do a second one,” Ellington said. “And we found here. Southaven is hungry for seafood, so we grabbed onto this location when we found it. Southaven has been a really solid market for us.”
Red Pier offers a selection of seafood including fresh Maine lobsters, Alaska snow crab legs, shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels, Dungeness crab, and a full bar with an assortment of cocktails. Daily and lunch specials are also available on the menu.
Ellington said while many other seafood restaurants offer Cajun flavors, none compare to Red Pier’s own in-house made seasoning.
“I think our flavor profile is there,” Ellington said. “A lot of other places drown their seafood, so when you open it up you have water pouring out. We traveled all around the United States to find a great flavor profile. We were literally in Texas, Florida, Atlanta looking for what is going to be good.”
Ellington said he wouldn’t be surprised if one day shoppers are able to find their seasoning blend at supermarkets.
“We bag our own seasoning,” Ellington said. “And who knows? Maybe we will take it to market and you will see it in grocery stores.”
Ellington, who is in charge of remodeling the locations, said the Pepperchase Drive area was ideal. The space was formerly Steak by Melissa and is located close to I-55 and the Landers Center. The location has ample dining space and even an upstairs private dining area for parties or large gatherings.
“I think we built a great location,” Ellington said. “It’s gorgeous. As soon as you get off the freeway it is emblazoned. You almost can’t see anything else. The blue hue and the red crab are all lit up.”
Ellington said each location will have some type of ownership on location managing the restaurant.
“They are a tight knit family,” Ellington said. “That’s how we keep costs down. We watch the register. A lot of restaurants close because they can’t watch everything.”
Ellington said they will be opening two more locations soon, one in West Memphis, Arkansas, and one in Tupelo.
“That’s exciting,” Ellington said. “It’s always a thrill to open a new location.”