We have a VERY big announcement to make!
After recently celebrating 35 successful years of business, Marty and I have decided it is time to pass the torch on to someone else! We are selling Princeton Seafood Company!
As much as we love our restaurant, we would really like to spend more time traveling together – Marty did just turn 62 after all, and we want our retirement years to be special! We will dearly miss all of our treasured customers, especially our many loyal locals who have supported and come back to us again and again over the years! Thank you so much for being a part of our story. We couldn’t have done it without you!
At the very end of the post I will share our broker’s information in case one of you would be interested in starting a new adventure of your own! But first, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of our special history with Princeton Seafood Company….
Let’s go back to when it all started!
In October of 1979, Marty and I moved to California at the convincing of old friend and commercial fisherman Don Pemberton. With Don’s fishing know-how and our backgrounds in business, we were the perfect trio to launch a wholesale fish market! We started with leased space off of Romeo’s Pier where we sold Don’s catch to retail and wholesale markets in the Bay Area. Next we opened up a crab stand in front of Ida’s (now Sam’s Chowder House) and sold both live and cooked crab on the weekends. Marty was often referred to as “The Crab Man” in reference to the shellfish (or at least we hope)!
Since we dreamed of eventually opening up our own seafood restaurant, we were very excited when the opportunity came up for a spot on Johnson Pier (after the closing of the Sea Witch restaurant). Don’s friend Airline Captain Rick Grether was excited at the chance to invest and helped our team secure the 800 feet location. Little did we know that this would become the permanent home for Princeton Seafood! Through multiple expansions we were able to triple the size of the restaurant!
We were lucky to have help from Marty’s parents in the earlier years. Shirley and Harry Botham joined us in 1981. Shirley had many helpful years of experience as a caterer – she even developed our famous clam chowder recipe that we still use today!
We also had an 18-ft fish counter known as the “ocean on display” where the front dining area currently sits. A few years later we added the ice cream/take-out window and the fish market was transitioned out of the dining area.
By the mid-eighties Marty’s parents were ready to retire for a slower-paced life in Ukiah, California. Soon after, we were ready to open up for dinner and we added our first char-broiler to meet the demand for more healthy seafood items. In addition, Manuel Silva was hired as our kitchen manager and chef and stayed with us more than 15 years.
In 1988 we entered the Knight’s of Columbus Clam Chowder Cook-Off. Thirty teams would compete in the local competition and during the 3 years in a row that we participated, Princeton Seafood took home the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards! As a bonus, one year we even took home the best-dressed award!
More recently, in 2008, Marty and I spent months watching a beautiful wooden fisherman come to life as he being carved by Magnus Sandblom. We knew we just had to have him! It has been really fun seeing all of the photos that friends, family, and customers have shared of Magnus over the years!
In the fall of the same year we started up a car show here in the harbor called Cool Harbor Nights. An inspiration from our son’s interest in classic cars, and a unique way to bring the community together, we started hosting it every first Thursday of the month until sunset. There were many fun successful evenings as the show continued to grow with new participants each month! Proceeds from the raffle always went to a local non-profit.
Finally, in 2016, we will get ready to say Good Bye. While we will miss the restaurant, we are even more excited about this new chapter in our lives! We have a travel trailer that is just the right size for us and our two dogs – we can’t wait to begin our first trip! Yellowstone perhaps? The possibilities are endless!
On behalf of Marty and myself, THANK YOU for all of your many years of laughs, loyalty, and support! If you have a special memory of Princeton Seafood Co. that you’d like to share, please do!
** Our Broker’s information: David R. Worden & Amy Worden, Windward Commercial Real Estate Services
650.726.1031 650.619.0553 Dave@windward-commercial.com
On Monday, Sept. 29., Princeton Seafood Company will be taken over by the 19 girls that make up Half Moon Bay High School’s varsity and junior varsity cheer teams. They will be demonstrating some cheers, assisting the wait staff with orders and collecting tips to support their teams. Being a cheerleader is a lot of work! I caught up with varsity cheer captain, Darragh White during a free period last week and she filled me in on a bit of what life as a cheerleader is like. Come by Princeton Seafood Company on Monday, Sept. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. to cheer on the cheerleaders and help fund their activities.
Magnus: How did you get involved with cheerleading?
Darragh: I came from a private school to public school and I’ve been dancing my whole life so I thought I’d try out for cheer.
Magnus:What kind of dance?
Darragh: I’ve danced competitively since I was 3 years old. I’m classically trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz and acrobatics.
Magnus: Wow, you’re probably very flexible!
Magnus: What do you like about being a cheerleader?
Darragh: It’s just a way for me to be involved. I’ve made kind of a family with the other cheerleaders.
Magnus: How much work do you have to put in?
Darragh: We practice 4 days a week after school from 3:15 to 5:30 — or 6 on some days — so we put in a lot of of effort. We choreograph dances and stunts.
Magnus: How much money are you hoping to raise at the Tip-a -Cheerleader event?
Darragh: As much as we can…we do make a lot of money doing Tip-a-Cheerleader.
Magnus: What do you plan do with the funds you collect at the event?
Darragh: Probably use it for spirit funds…helping out cheer camp and uniforms for next year
Magnus: Where do you go to camp?
Darragh: We either go to Santa Cruz or sometimes we go to Lake Tahoe.
Magnus: Any stereotypes or myths about cheerleaders you wish to dispel?
Darragh: People think we’re kind of dumb. We’re really not… it’s just as hard as any sport (and) we have one of the highest GPAs at the school in regard to sports.
Whale watching opportunities abound as the migrating gray whales journey south from Alaska to the warmer waters of Baja California and, during a time when the cetaceans are being spotted at such record levels, now might be just the time to hop onboard and book a whale watching trip at Pillar Point Harbor.
“Normally this time of year it’s awesome!” Enthused Zach Burham who currently works at Half Moon Bay Sportfishing & Tackle. Burham used to be a deckhand for the Queen of Hearts and says he has fantastic memories from his many boat trips. “Literally we have whales breaching 10 feet from the boat,” he said.
The Queen of Hearts is just one of several vessels taking groups on whale watching tours right now.
Captain William Smith (known by many as “Capt. Smitty”) is the owner/operator of Riptide Sportfishing and has lead numerous whale watching trips.
Echoing other whale watchers and boaters, Smith said you never know what you’ll see out on the waters day to day. From sea birds, to porpoises to sea lions and jellyfish … “you need to go with an open mind,” Smith emphasized. “Everyday on the ocean is different.”
Tom Mattusch, owner and captain of the Huli Cat, said he’s spotted the gray whales early this winter while on fishing and crabbing trips but managed to miss them the last couple times he’s been out. Mattusch attributes the increase in gray whales this year to the tremendous amount of available feed—including sardines, anchovies and California market squid—which may be drawing the whales in.
However, Susan Sherman a naturalist with the Oceanic Society says it’s too early to explain the increase just yet and adds that it’s unusual for whales to be feeding during migration.
Still, even if we can’t quite explain why there seems to be more whales out there. No one seems to be complaining.
“It’s great to see one well or a couple really well,” Sherman said of the cetaceans spotted on the trips. “It gives you the sense of size.”
Something Mattusch says can really strike awe in humans.
“It’s difficult to explain,” Mattusch said. “You’ve got an animal so big its heart valves are the size of manhole covers…. it’s all really amazing.”
Whale watching trips can be booked through any of the businesses and organizations listed. Most run for 3 hours and cost around $40-$45 per person.
*Photo by Thomas Johnson/Courtesy of the Oceanic Society
“It’s awesome, but gross!”
At the conclusion of a study on clams, the third graders counted the ridges on the shells to find out how old their subjects were (often up to 5 times older than the students themselves!) and navigated their way through the bivalve’s innards “It’s harder to see the inside parts than it is on paper,” explained Oscar Hernandez, 10.
Restaurant Watchman & Storyteller
Trust me, I do! Did you know that figureheads were first were placed on ship sterns in the sixteenth century? More than just an ornament, these wood-carved beauties often helped seamen identify themselves in illiterate societies. Mary and Marty inherited these gals when they took over the space more than 30 years ago. We believe they really add a level of elegance here at Princeton Seafood Company. Sometimes they can even be seen modeling our T-shirts!
Marty’s Garlic Crab
This is not the kind of crab dish you’d eat in your
Sunday’s finest says its creator, Princeton Seafood Co-Owner Marty Botham. It can be quite messy and takes some time but Marty assures us that it is well worth the effort and is perfect for low-key, backyard dining.
1. Take 4 freshly cooked, cracked crab. Then cut the body section of each crab into four pieces.
2. In a saucepan, melt a pound of butter with a quarter cup of Italian salad dressing and 4 tablespoons minced garlic. Once the garlic is cooked (careful not to burn it!) add a pinch of lemon pepper seasoning.
3. Layer your crab pieces on a cookie sheet and generously paste the garlic marinade on the pieces with a pastry brush. “You’re trying to get the garlic on each part of the crab,” Marty says. Let this marinate for 20 minutes.
4. Heat the crab in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Pull it out midway through to paste with your garlic sauce again.
Grab yourself a cold beer, head to the backyard and you’re all set!
Restaurant Watchman & Storyteller
Restaurant watchman, storyteller & friendly wooden statue
Princeton Seafood Company