NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The first Friday of Lent is just days away. That means local eateries, like Drago’s Restaurant, prepped for a surge in customers while dealing with a continuous sticker shock on fresh fish.
“Some seafood has gone up more than others and it makes an already difficult job of being a restauranteur even more difficult,” Drago’s Restaurant Owner Tommy Cvitanovich said.
According to Cvitanovich, as of Ash Wednesday, lobster cost $18/lb. and fried oysters became so expensive, he had to take them off the menu.
Even though the prices have been on the rise, customers flooded the dining room.
“We’re here for the oysters. We love the oysters. We love the seafood,” Terry Bourgeois from St. James Parish said. “The prices are a little discouraging but that hasn’t stopped us.”
Opting to eat in is usually the cost-friendly option, but Laney King with The Crawfish App said that may not be the case with mudbugs for the time being.
“It started off a high supply and a large-sized crawfish, and as that cold weather kicked in they burrowed back, didn’t eat as much,” King said.
That means, they’re smaller and cost more. However, there is hope as Lent rolls on. According to King, this week, they dropped about 50 cents per pound.
So, however you choose to dine the next few Fridays, plan on having a few extra dollars in your pocket.
“We just need to tighten our belt a little bit but we’re gonna be good,” Cvitanovich said.