SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Local business Moby Rick’s Seafood is making moves, with a relocation within the Spa City as well as a recent expansion to Clifton Park.
Fisherman and entrepreneur Rick Lofstad is in the process of moving Moby Rick’s Seafood from 173 Lake Ave. to 170 S. Broadway in Saratoga Springs, while ramping up business at his other new location that opened earlier this year at 22 Clifton Country Rd. in Clifton Park.
The little old blue and white building that Saratogians have known as Moby Rick’s Seafood for the past eight years is set to be demolished in the near future.
This 1891 wooden structure, which many locals remember as Peppers Market, is rumored to have also once served as an illegal bookie joint earlier in its history.
“It has character,” Lofstad said of his retail shop. “It has the feel of an old fish market on Long Island on the beach.”
As this property prepares for its next phase, Moby Rick’s Seafood is closing up shop on Lake Avenue and transitioning to a new spot in a strip mall on South Broadway.
Though it may not have quite the same charm, the new store will offer increased efficiency for the business, along with greater convenience and more parking for customers.
This move comes on the heels of an expansion to southern Saratoga County. Lofstad opened the second Moby Rick’s Seafood location in late February at the Clifton Park Center shopping plaza, in the space previously occupied by Primal butcher.
Though 2020 has been a tough time for many small businesses, Moby Rick’s Seafood has tripled its business during the COVID-19 pandemic, supplying more product to Capital Region seafood-lovers than ever before.
This coincides with a recent industry trend, Lofstad said, sharing that where nearly 70 percent of all seafood consumption used to take place in restaurants, about that much is now happening at home, where many people have been experimenting with healthy cooking during the pandemic.
With two newly established Saratoga County locations, Lofstad’s goal for his business is the same as it ever was. “My goal is to sell fish,” he said, sharing his fisherman father’s life advice to do one thing well.
Loftstad, a Long Island native whose family originally hails from Norway, is part of a long line of fishermen. At one time, he said, the Lofstad family was responsible for one-fifth of the state’s seafood production.
When Loftstad brought his entrepreneurial ventures upstate, he first started at the popular Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, where he still sells seafood as Pura Vida Fisheries, which can also be found at the Saratoga Farmers Market.
On why he decided to set roots in the Spa City in 2012, “Saratoga has a good palate,” Loftstad said of the population. “They know fish.”
In addition to fresh fish and seafood delicacies brought in from the wharfs of Long Island and Boston, Moby Rick’s Seafood offers a variety of prepared entrees available for takeout.
Moby Rick’s Seafood is currently still operating at 173 Lake Ave. with limited hours. A closing date has not yet been determined for this site.
Once open at 170 S. Broadway, Moby Rick’s Seafood will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The Clifton Park location is also currently open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
More information about Moby Rick’s Seafood is available online at www.facebook.com/MobyRicksSeafood and www.facebook.com/cliftonparkNY.