From Our Editors
It took little more than a plywood tank and an old pickup truck to start Lobster Place. Rod and Joan MacGregor were convinced that New York's Upper West Side could use a taste of something new, so in 1974, they began driving up to Maine multiple times a week to bring back nearly 1,000 pounds of live lobster with them. The lobsters found their way into both the best restaurants in New York City and the pots of ambitious home cooks. The MacGregors’ venture was such a hit that by the 1990s they were ready to expand to a retail store in Chelsea Market, where their inventory grew to include what their son Ian estimates as "just about everything that swims in the ocean.” He would know: he took over the reins of the business when his parents retired in 2002, and now oversees both the retail store in Chelsea and the company's wholesale business in the Bronx. Besides the signature red crustacean, customers at Lobster Place find a vast selection of fish, smoked fish, shrimp, crab, and shellfish, as well as all of the ingredients and tools for a stovetop clambake⎯including the bibs. For those not in the business of fish preparation or who are interested in learning about the work that goes into creating the shop’s menu of sushi, sandwiches, wraps, and soups, Ian has curated a program he calls School of Fish. Through a number of articles posted on the business’s website, participants can learn how to prepare seafood as well as where their fish were caught, how their fish performed in school, and the difference between wild and farmed fish.