With Alaska’s season canceled, restaurant owners must find their customers’ favorites in different locations.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coastal Bend snow crab fans may have to find something else to dip in pulled butter now that the season has been canceled due to a shortage in Alaska.
Experts say the snow crab population has declined nearly 80% in the past four years.
“Fortunately, snow crab isn’t just caught in Alaska, so there are other places we can get it,” said Elias Garza, owner and operator of Mudbugs Cajun Icehouse.
He said it’s tough when a staple menu item is at risk due to the ever-changing supply chain.
“It’s always a bummer when you get news that something can’t happen – things you’re used to getting – it makes it difficult, it’s a challenge,” he said. . “You always have to go out and find other things.”
In the meantime, Garza said, if the restaurant can’t get its hands on the savory legs, it will opt for other favorites such as red crab or Dungeness crab.
“You can’t let it slow you down,” he said. “Just how we’ve all been doing for the past two years.”
He is not alone. The owner of Hardknocks Bar and Grill said his restaurant felt the pain of the supply chain and at one point was unable to get its hands on the oil or the wings, which is one of its most popular dishes.
Rod Lewis said he was able to secure a special purchase of crab legs, but the market remains mostly unpredictable.
“Next year will be different,” he said. “We won’t have that opportunity. The restaurants that are linked to the boil – it’s going to be difficult for them.”
Businesses hope their customers can understand if their favorite menu items are unavailable.
“Be patient with us,” Garza said. “We don’t make the decision. We don’t have enough money to move the markets one way or another. We try our best.”