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Gulf spill impacts local restaurants

By: Cheryl Glassford Email
By: Cheryl Glassford Email

The gulf of Mexico is a long way from Kentucky, but the oil spill there is causing concern for seafood markets and restaurants here in the Bluegrass.

In one family-owned restaurant in Lexington, Art Howard has been cooking up good seafood for 15 years.

"I just love the smell of butter and onions and celery in the morning," Howard said.

He admits the past year has been tough with a slumping economy, but The Ketch has managed to make it through.

"You just kind of have to shop wisely," Howard said.

Now he and other seafood markets and restaurants in the country face a new challenge: rising costs because of the oil crisis in the gulf.

So far Howard says it hasn't been too much of an interruption. They haven't had to raise menu prices yet.

But with the cost of gulf oysters and shrimp up by as much as a third -it has them making some changes.

One way they hope to offset a possible price increase is that they've started serving oysters and shrimp that are not from the gulf.

"The problem now is just going to be demand, because once the demand for gulf oysters is not there, they're going to turn to the other oysters and that will drive prices up," said Howard.

They've also added fajitas and striped bass from Kentucky to their menu, which already includes a long list of crab legs, lobster, and mahi mahi from outside the gulf.

Which they hope will keep prices down, and business up.

"You just have to keep your finger on the pulse," said Howard.


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