Cajun-style seafood has come to the Milford mall at 'Crab Du Jour'

MILFORD — While the COVID-19 pandemic has made life tough for some restaurants, it also has brought opportunities to others, according to Jeffrey Schroth, national general manager of Crab Du Jour.

The eatery recently opened a location in the Connecticut Post Mall.

“The pandemic, to a lot of people was a really bad thing, but for us it was actually kind of a good thing because it allowed us to get into locations that we never thought we would be in,” said Schroth. “There were great deals for business people to open up.”

Crab Du Jour is a restaurant chain specializing in seafood boils, a customizable mix of various shellfish boiled in seasoned water with corn and potatoes. Locations also serve traditional Southern fare such as fried seafood and po’ boys. There are locations operating or planned in 16 states, according to the company’s website. Schroth estimated there would be 200 locations open by the end of 2022 and 500 by 2025.

Locally, the Milford location joins a Crab Du Jour Express already open in Bridgeport, and a sit-down restaurant opening later this year in Hamden.

Schroth said the decision to open the restaurant in Milford was made last year, but opening was delayed due to COVID-19.

“There are a million different reasons why we should be there,” Schroth said about the mall location.

“Maybe after the movies they want to come in, or before the movies,” he said. “Maybe they got done with a round of shopping and want to sit and relax, or maybe, they want to eat and go shopping to walk off all those calories.”

Simon McDonald, director of marketing and membership for the Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce, said Crab Du Jour would only add to the dining options in the city . The mall, along with Devon, downtown, and other sections of town, form an exciting dining scene, he said.

“There are a lot of cuisines and menus available from getting a snack or a full-blown meal with cocktails and dessert,” he said. “It seems like it’s the new place to hang out.”

Crab Du Jour will be the fourth sit-down restaurant at the mall, joining Buffalo Wild Wings, Dave & Busters and Guacamole Mexican Cuisine. In addition, Cast Iron Chef is scheduled to open next month, and will serve 12-inch pizzas cooked on cast iron pans.

Schroth said people coming to the restaurant would be in for a whole new experience.

“When you go in there, you will be super surprised how easy, how fast, how fresh and how great tasting that food is,” he said.

Crab Du Jour sources its snow crab, dungeness crab and king crab from Canada, and lobster tails are from Nova Scotia and Maine. All the oysters served are Blue Point oysters, which are native to New York’s Great South Bay.

The restaurant also sources some ingredients very locally, including a line of Italian ice-based cocktails developed with input and supplies from a Milford-based business, Schroth said.

But the main attraction at Crab Du Jour is the traditional Louisiana Cajun boil, he said.

“You open this (boil) bag, and it’s like, bam. It’s a treat to your nose, it’s a treat to your senses,” he said. “You don’t have to travel 800 miles away to have this awesome style of seafood.”