OCEAN CITY – Get your crab fix while they are hot this weekend, even though local crab houses are optimistic the quantity will hold out over through the 4th of July.
Crab Bag Assistant Manager Chuck Sheubrooks, has no concerns over running out of crabs over this weekend. He said on a normal summer weekend the restaurant sells at least 70 to 80 bushels of crabs a night, or around 300 bushels a weekend, but this weekend he expects to sell at least 500 bushels.
“We sell most of our big crabs first,” Sheubrooks said. “Our jumbos and super jumbos, we can’t hold onto them. As soon as we get them in the house, they’re gone.”
Crab Alley owner Phil Houck, said the quantity and quality of crabs has picked up just in the last couple of weeks.
“It seems like the Maryland crabs are starting to get heavier,” he said. “As the season progresses, hopefully the Maryland crabs will get bigger.”
Regarding prices, Houck said, “I find that prices rise as the years go on. In the beginning, prices are higher but its supply and demand, recently it just started going down. You’re going to pay a lot for the bigger crabs per bushel so that makes our prices go up more.”
Houck said the Crab Alley has already started building up their supply for the holiday weekend.
“So I can get the crabs before somebody else does,” he said. “I’m hoping my local crabbers come through and hopefully I can get my hands on some big crabs.”
Crabs to Go co-owner John Wittmyer, expects this weekend to be the best ever.
“It’s looking awesome, the crabs are running really fat right now,” Wittmyer said. “We haven’t really seen any price increase, it’s been staying flat, and it should be a great weekend with plenty of people in town.”
Hooper’s Crab House General Manager Ryan Intrieri said, “Crab world wise I think it’s going to be a typical weekend where a lot of games are going to be played with crabs.” He added, “Crab prices will go up to us, so obviously we won’t be able to give them quite as cheap as we would during the week. It’s just typical because of the price of the game.”
Intrieri added that it will be difficult to receive crabs by the end of the weekend because the majority of watermen do not work on the holiday but he is confident his stock will carry.
“We have great people that supply us all the time so they will load us up all weekend long here to make sure we’re covered through Sunday and Monday,” he said.