The east side of Madison isn't exactly swimming with seafood stores, but a new company, a combination fish market and seafood restaurant, wants to give citizens of Madison and Monona a specialty fresh fish option.
Lake Edge Seafood Company is coming to 4100 Monona Drive, in the same building as Crema Cafe. The 2,650 square-foot restaurant will seat 44 and will include a retail counter selling fresh seafood.
The fish market counter will open on Saturday, Dec. 30, with the restaurant to follow in early January. The venue will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and will serve brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. until the early afternoon (the exact closing time hasn't been decided yet).
Robert Kitto and his father, John Kitto, are co-owners of the restaurant. They’ve long been toying with the idea of starting a business, Robert said, but didn’t take the leap until John retired and sold his company of 45 years, Thrift Painting.
They decided on selling seafood, found a location in a “great retail spot,” and everything fell into place, Robert said.
“We both really love seafood, and thought the east side of Madison was not being well served in that, so (we decided to) take it into our own hands,” he said.
There’s a Seafood Center at 712 S. Whitney Way and another in the Willy Street Co-op at 1221 Williamson St., but there aren’t any specialty fresh seafood stores in the area around the Lake Edge, the company’s alcohol license application says. Grocery stores sell fish, but Lake Edge Seafood Company hopes to offer a wider variety, Robert said.
The fish market will offer fish like halibut, cod, walleye, crab legs, lobster tails and salmon. The venue will also sell cooking accessories like cookbooks, breading for fish fries and paring knives to open oysters, he said.
The restaurant, which the Kittos hope to open by Jan. 10, will offer items like fish fry, po' boy sandwiches, lobster rolls and fish tacos.
The application lists Fortune Fish, based in Bensenville, Illinois, and Martinez Seafood, based in Chicago, as suppliers. Robert Kitto confirmed most of their suppliers are based in the Midwest, but added the company had just placed an order with Bering Bounty, a Verona-based commercial fishing company that catches wild salmon from the Bering Sea.
Russell Hackworthy will serve as the executive chef. He was previously the deli manager of the Metro Market at 6010 Cottage Grove Road.