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A popular Port Royal seafood market was torn down. Here’s what’s planned

How to clean shrimp with Sea Eagle Market’s Craig Reaves

Craig Reaves, owner of Sea Eagle Market in Beaufort, demonstrates how to de-head and clean locally caught shrimp.
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Craig Reaves, owner of Sea Eagle Market in Beaufort, demonstrates how to de-head and clean locally caught shrimp.

If you happen to notice an empty parking lot this week where your favorite seafood market once stood in Port Royal, don’t worry.

CJ Seafood Express was demolished Sunday. The open-air building on Ribaut Road was aging and in disrepair, said Craig Reaves, owner of Sea Eagle Market and the Port Royal stand.

A new building was expected to be delivered Monday and could be open by the weekend, he said.

“We’re getting ready for the spring,” Reaves said. “The new shrimp season will be coming soon.”

CJ Seafood operator Tony Settles has sold shrimp and fresh fish from the modest structure since 2006. The new digs will continue to be low-key — a local shed builder is supplying the structure.

The spot is tucked in the parking lot next to Alvin Ord’s sandwich shop and marked by a small roadside sign and white model shrimp boat in the grass.

Reaves took video as he pulled down the old building with a chain and pickup truck Sunday. He believes the small structure had been on the site since the 1960s.

The awning will go back on the new building and the market will continue to sell shrimp, whiting, croaker, mullet, crab meat and scallops and the like.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Reaves said. “Tony does a good job and people love him.”

Stephen Fastenau covers northern Beaufort County as a reporter for The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet, where he has worked since 2010 and been recognized with state and national awards. He studied journalism and political science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and lives in Beaufort.


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