Local News

Landmark Raleigh seafood market reopens after tornado

Posted January 20, 2012

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

Map

— Thanks to a special city permit, more than $100,000 in upgrades and patience, a landmark south Raleigh seafood market severely damaged by a tornado last spring reopened Friday.

Except for a few walls, Earp's Seafood Market on South Saunders Street had to be rebuilt from the ground up following the April 16 storm.

That process hit a few bumps along the way because of the difficulty of getting a 42-year-old building back up to code, but the family owners of the seafood market, known for its flounder fillets, persevered.

The Raleigh Board of Adjustment granted a special use permit in May allowing the owner, Nancy Earp Salmon, to make minor repairs to sidewalks, driveways and landscaping, but Salmon's insurance adjusters said more steps had to be made before the business could reopen.

Earp's Seafood Market Raleigh seafood market looks to reel in old, new customers

The adjusters said the building had to salvage parts of the original walls. That changed the rebuilding plan, which required another permit. It slowed down the rebuilding effort, but it didn't stop it. 

β€œIt has been the worst thing. If it were to get hit again (by another storm), it would be God's will to stay down. I couldn't go through it again," Salmon said. "Nine months (of) never knowing from day to day, and my cousin is the contractor and the one who built it. He was our lifeline. If it had not been for him, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown.”

Salmon's mother, Mary Earp, cut the ribbon on the new building. Earp, 86, and her late husband opened the seafood market 43 years ago with $50 borrowed from her brother-in-law.

Customer Lisa Dorth Drew attended the reopening ceremony with her granddaughter and got teary-eyed as she bought shrimp, mussels, crabcakes and hush puppies.

"I'm happy that Earp's is open again. It's been a long time,” Drew said. "It was hard to come up South Saunders (after the tornado). So, when I saw this, I said, 'Oh my goodness,' but I'm happy (now)."

Salmon said the experience has taught her and her family a lot about their customers.

"They are so faithful," she said. "When you're gone nine months, you don't know if those people have found somewhere they'd rather go other than here, but they love Earp's. Look, I got chill bumps."

57 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jeremiah Jan 20, 2012

    Good one guys, and thanks for the answer brmyspots. I will be going there soon.

  • brmyspots Jan 20, 2012

    "The oceans, rivers and lakes?"

    haha, smarty. buty i didn't realize you could get seafood in lakes.

    touche Jeremiah

    Thanks to both you and fayncmike for putting smiles on faces. Great humor for the weekend. Go to Earps this weekend and buy something, anything to show some support and patronize a Raleigh landmark.

  • fayncmike Jan 20, 2012

    "The oceans, rivers and lakes?"

    haha, smarty. buty i didn't realize you could get seafood in lakes.
    Jeremiah"

    Will you let me slide with freshwater mussels?

  • yesimagirl Jan 20, 2012

    YAY!!!

  • Jeremiah Jan 20, 2012

    "The oceans, rivers and lakes?"

    haha, smarty. buty i didn't realize you could get seafood in lakes.

  • brmyspots Jan 20, 2012

    "Does anyone know where they get their seafood from? Jeremiah

    The oceans, rivers and lakes?fayncmike

    Can't stop laughing at that one. They actually drive it up every morning from Wilmington & Southport.

  • Hammerhead Jan 20, 2012

    These guys are going to make a killing in the next few days....and beyond, I hope.

  • storchheim Jan 20, 2012

    "Great to have this place open again. This calls for shrimp and scallops wrapped in bacon. ncouterbanks69

    What time should we be there? I'll bring coleslaw!"

    If I bring lemon bars for dessert, can I come too?

  • Screw WrAl Jan 20, 2012

    Glad to see they were able to repair their store in less time than the city of Raleigh repaired the cemeteries.

  • fayncmike Jan 20, 2012

    "Does anyone know where they get their seafood from?
    Jeremiah

    The oceans, rivers and lakes?

More...