Coastal Crab Company
by Craig Chapman, assisted by Ian Hunter
High school sweethearts Bruce and Nene Tucker never thought they would one day own their own restaurant. It was in their DNA before they even knew it, even their daughter saw it. “When our daughter was about eight or nine, she spoke about it. She said, ‘Daddy we are going to have a restaurant one day. We’re going to have a food place one day.’ My daughter is now 13 and works here,” Bruce said.
It was long before then that good food came into their lives. Bruce’s father first got him started.
“I’ve been around seafood my whole life,” Bruce said. “I’m self-taught but my dad cooked crabs all the time. He had a big crab party every Friday night. We grew up in Jacksonville, then my parents moved here (Melbourne) so every other Friday night we would come down here from Jacksonville to visit and eat crabs.”
The Coastal Crab Company is a small place creating seafood that’s big on flavor. They continue to stick true to their humble beginnings. “When we first started, it was like a little patio with a screen door,” said Bruce. Nowadays they have about five or six bar stools to eat on but focus on carry-out orders. Their Maryland-style seafood goes fast so get there early.
You won’t leave empty handed, to-go plates are packed full.
“One of our most popular dishes is the crab rice which is rice with crab meat in it and shrimp,” Nene said. “Everything that we cook, you can actually buy raw as well and take it home and cook it yourself. We sell the garlic butter that we hand churn and mix ourselves. The garlic butter generally goes over garlic crabs, but you can put it on anything.”
Bruce’s favorite is the jumbo blue crabs. Other favorites on their menu are: Florida blue crabs, snow crabs, Dungeness crabs, oysters, shrimp, crawfish, red snapper, grouper and more. We had the Coastal Crab Sampler (pictured) which comes with a little of it all.
The Coastal Crab Company, housed in what used to be an oyster and clam distribution center, has fans coming from far and wide said Bruce. “We get a lot of people from Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, North Port St. John, Rockledge, Viera. We get a lot of customers from different areas, mostly to-go orders but people buy live crabs and take them with them too.”
With seafood this good, it’s no wonder people flock to Coastal Crab Company.
Coastal Crab Company
2911 S. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne
*Helpful tips: Look for Tuckers Cut Rate Plumbing on US1 or you might miss it. Cash only.
About the Writer
Craig Chapman is the producer of Real Food Real Kitchens, a food media brand that is all about Family, Food, Culture and History. To learn more about his TV series, magazine, and cookbook, visit RealFoodRealKitchens.com