The new Whole Foods Market that opened in the Brooklyn, N.Y. neighborhood of Williamsburg in late July, features Luke’s Tail Cart, an outpost of budding fast casual chain Luke’s Lobster.
This is the first supermarket partnership for the restaurant chain.
Luke’s Lobster buys the lobster live and processes it at its sister company, Cape Seafood, in Saco, Maine. CEO and founder Luke Holden said Cape Seafood sends raw, split and cleaned tails to Whole Foods, and at the cart they skewer it, grill it and serve it with a choice of warm lemon butter or wild Maine blueberry balsamic sauce for dipping. Half tails are $7 and whole ones are $13.
The cart also sells still and sparkling water for $2, soda for $3 and canned Stumptown nitro coffee for $5. Blueberry bars and brownies are $3 apiece.
“It’s fun, it’s wonderfully clean tasting, it’s good for you, and so far reception at Whole Foods has been killer,” Holden said. He said business has been steady at the cart from around 11 a.m. through the evening, with some people getting the skewers for lunch and others as a snack to enjoy while they shop.
“We would love to continue to grow the tail cart model and to grow with Whole Foods,” Conniff said. “They’re an amazing partner. They’re a great brand to be associated with in terms of how we share values” such as seafood sustainability and community.
Luke’s Lobster has 20 restaurants in the United States and five in Japan.
Correction: Sept. 2, 2016 An earlier version of this article misstated the price of lobster at the Tail Cart, which is $7 for a half tail and $13 for a whole.