DARIEN, Conn. -- After three years of serving up lobster rolls in their popular food truck, Mike Harden and Trond Fletcher of Lobstercraft have opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant on the Darien-Rowayton border.
"Lobster rolls are a pretty simple item, but we decided to make them more gourmet and take them up to the next level," Harden said.
The lobster is provided from a number of different suppliers from here to Maine. One the restaurant's signature items is the Coastal, which is fresh lobster meat on a bun with butter and special seasoning. They also offer a BLT with lobster and garlic mayonnaise aioli, a surf-n-turf with shaved flank steak topped with lobster and garlic aioli, and a California roll with avocado, cucumber and wasabi soy sauce.
"We decided to have fun with the old recipes," said Fletcher. They also serve a lobster kielbasa mac and cheese, and lobster hush puppies.
Harden, a commercial lobsterman, said that when lobstering in Long Island Sound wasn't paying the bills, he teamed up with Fletcher in 2012 to sell lobster rolls. He said that food trucks were starting to become really popular at the time.
"We decided to get ahead of the game and start a food truck. And it worked," Harden said.
The business took off and the two Lobstercraft trucks were in high demand for private parties and special events. They said the popularity of the trucks made them decide to open up a permanent location.
"We were being pulled in so many different directions. We have two trucks, so we could only populate two places at once," Fletcher said. The two trucks will remain in operation.
"We decided to expand, and set down some roots as well."
Harden said there as big buzz on social media before the shop's opening Tuesday, Aug. 6. One woman was waiting outside the door at 11 a.m. for the opening. After that, they said they had a steady stream of customers all day Tuesday.
"We love this location. We're in between Darien and Rowayton, just on the water. These are our people," Harden said. Harden lives in Norwalk and Fletcher grew up in Darien and now lives in Shelton.
Lobstercraft is at 286 Tokeneke Road in Darien and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.