Re-Up BBQ team takes over Crab Shop

Juicy fried Oyster Po' Boy sandwich? Just say, "Yes, please" the next time you're at the River Market.

The team behind the Re-Up BBQ is taking over the Crab Shop at the River Market and adding their own delicious twist to classic cod/halibut and chips, including freshly made tartar sauce and mayo verde with garlic and cilantro.

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"We love fish and chips," says Michael Kaisaris, who owns the Re-Up and the Crab Shop along with his wife, Lindsay Kaisaris, Chester Carey and Jose RosalesLopez. "It's a nice bit of synergy - the Re-Up being next door, and we can just have a really big celebratory presence in the space."

They are also considering adding cala-mari and spot prawns to the quaint menu, which Kaisaris says is small because they wanted to open ASAP.

"The fastest way to get open is to submit the health inspector a very, very short food safety plan, so they don't have to go crazy with their inspection," Kaisaris says.

The Re-Up team will have surf-and-turf spots in the River Market. They are soon to open a barbecue eatery at the market, which will be a flagship location for their popular Vancouver food carts. The River Market location will have a lunch counter with a full barbecue menu, including pulled pork, beef ribs, beef brisket, buttermilk biscuits, country gravy and homemade fresh fruit sodas.

Now the barbecue team is turning their sights to the sea.

The Crab Shop opened in the market last year. The previous Crab Shop owner, Marcel Gregori, has a shop in North Vancouver and is also a commercial fisherman.

"Over the past few months, the demand for fresh seafood in New Westminster has not grown as quickly as we all hoped," River Market director Mark Shieh said in an email to The Record. " He wanted to focus on his other businesses and asked me for help on the New Westminster shop."

At the same time, the Re-Up crew wanted to expand their culinary empire, Shieh's email said.

"The three parties got together and worked out a sea-change deal," he wrote. "At River Market, we're committed to supporting the local economy, especially the next generation of food entrepreneurs."

The decision to take over the Crab Shop came fast.

Shieh posed it to them just a couple of weeks ago.

"It was a pretty quick decision on our part," Kaisaris says. "It all kind of came together in a pretty big way.

"We felt like the Crab Shop wasn't singing, and it's kind of an anchor in the River Market space. It's one of the first things people see when they are coming down the boardwalk, so we wanted to make it sing, and we think that's going to be really good for the Re-Up."

As for the shop name, Kaisaris said they will keep the Crab Shop moniker for now, but they are kicking around some new ideas.

Another thing that will stick around with their decision to run the business - the option to enjoy finger-licking fried fish on the boardwalk in New Westminster.

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nhope@royalcityrecord.com

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