Locals Seafood’s New Fish Market

by Kelsie Barton on March 28, 2024 | Reprinted from Raleigh Magazine

Photo by Owen Scott Jordan, Courtesy of Locals Seafood

Locals Seafood opens a full-service fish market in East Raleigh with a restaurant on the horizon.

It’s ofishal: Locals Seafood has a new home in the City of Oaks. Since closing its popular oyster bar at Transfer Co. Food Hall in 2022, Locals—which supplies restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Triangle with the freshest NC seafood—has been working hard to build out a new HQ off of New Bern Avenue in East Raleigh. Now, that space has received a face-lift (think a brick exterior painted a deep ocean blue and bright white signage) and is ready to welcome the city’s seafood lovers to shop, shuck and socialize.

The heart and “sole” of Locals’ new East Raleigh outpost is a full-service fish market carrying a variety of premium seafood brought in from the coast each week. Although Locals’ team of fishmongers regularly sells seafood at farmers markets across the region—including, most recently, in Asheville—this “inland fish house,” as co-founder Lin Peterson calls it, will display their largest offering of fish that can be cut to order or dressed with herbs and ready to take home to cook. 

It’s a full-circle moment for Locals, which champions buying seafood straight from the source and was born out of a desire to give NC folks who live further inland better access to freshly caught fish. “We make four to five trips each week picking up seafood up and down the coast and bringing it to Raleigh,” says Peterson. “It’s a pretty special thing, but it’s kind of hard to paint that picture because we are our own supply chain. … Now, finally, we have a market attached to that operation so we can tell that story.”

Beyond selling superfresh seafood, the market will allow Locals to expand its retail offerings to include salads, smoked fish dips and other chef-crafted items, plus accoutrements such as seasonings and housemade sauces. And with almost 2 acres of outdoor space at the new property, Locals is destined to become the host with the most when it comes to oyster roasts and other local events. There will even be a lineup of educational classes—everything from how to fillet a fish to oyster shucking 101.

With plenty of room for growth at the new HQ, Peterson confirms a restaurant attached to the market is “in our sights.” (And for those wondering, Locals’ existing resto inside Durham Food Hall is still going strong.) The co-founder points to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. as a source of inspo for their long-term vision. But during this initial phase, the focus will simply be setting up Raleigh’s home cooks for success.

“From shuck-at-home oyster kits complete with sauces to stuffed whole fish and marinated shrimp skewers, we’ll have everything you need to prepare amazing seafood at home—and teach you how to do it!” shares Peterson. He adds they will even be dry-aging fish on-site, “allowing home cooks to sear the most perfectly crisp fish skin, just like the pros.”

As spring weather beckons us outdoors and our palates begin to crave a taste of the coast, one thing’s for sure: Thanks to Locals and its seafood prowess, Raleighites are in for one shell of a good time. localsseafood.com

© 2023 NC Oyster Trail.