In the 11 months since purchasing the Lobster Pound at 8740 State Road 70 E., new owners Jim and Kelly Pierzga have been evolving what had been primarily a take-out operation into more of a friendly little seafood bistro.
They have added more indoor and outdoor seating, and, for the first time, wine and beer are on the menu.
Delivery is coming as well, starting in July. The couple recently inked an agreement for home delivery within a five-mile radius with ChowNow, an online food ordering platform.
The Lobster Pound opened in 2014, and built its reputation on live lobster, flown in from Maine twice a week, and other fresh seafood.
“The theme of the bistro is come in and get fresh seafood. Nothing is ever frozen here,” Jim said. “We stay true to good, fresh seafood.”
The couple, originally from the Northeast, researched locations when planning to move south and found that Manatee County and Lakewood Ranch were up-and-coming, and a nice area to call home for the long term, Kelly said.
“We have met so many nice people,” she said.
At the heart of the operation is a kitchen where everything is cooked fresh, and a 2,400-gallon lobster tank in the back.
The Lobster Pound menu includes $11.99 all-day specials, such as catch-of-the-day fish sandwiches, grouper tacos, Maryland-style crab cake, shrimp or tuna roll, and more.
Then, of course, there is lobster. The lobster roll includes one-quarter pound of lobster, served either New England or Connecticut-style on a grilled New England roll.
Other lobster options include the lobster dinner, Maine lobster boil, and lobster pie. One pound of steamed shellfish (mussels or clams) are offered for $10.99. Lobster prices vary according to the market.
Also popular are the fried seafood baskets, served with two sides and cocktail or tartar sauce, including fish and chips for $14.99, clams for $17.99, scallops for $18.99, and the fisherman’s basket with cod, shrimp, and clams for $27.99.
Clam chowder and lobster bisque are on the menu, starting at $4.99.
“When guests come and see Jim and I working behind the counter, they know that we are working hard to serve them,” Kelly said.
Alan Zimmermann visits the Lobster Pound several times a week. It’s the quality of the food and the friendly service that keeps him coming back. That, and the fact that the owners put a little extra pan seared and sauteed cod into his takeout bag for his dog, Lilly.
The Pierzgas are joining spaces with neighboring businesses Full Belly Burgers and Jersey Brothers Pizza 4:30 - 8 p.m. June 19 in an outdoor acoustic venue with singer/ songwriter Joey Orchulli. Lobster Pound will roll out its appetizer menu and wine and beer offerings during the event.
“Come relax and enjoy sampling our new appetizer menu,” the Pierzgas say.
For the time being, they are staying busy tweaking the Lobster Pound operation. In September, the business will shut down for two weeks to complete more extensive renovations. In the future, the owners may add a second location as well, Jim said.
Lobster Pound is open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The bistro is closed Mondays.
For more information, visit https://www.lwrlobsterpound.com/ or call 941-755-FISH.