Crispy Catch closes Perkins Road location, fishing for new site

    Crispy Catch has closed its location near the Perkins Road Overpass after three years in operation, but owner Tyler Pizzolato says he plans to relocate the seafood restaurant to a new space with a drive-thru window, though he does not have a specific location picked out yet.

    Pizzolato opened the restaurant in March 2015 in a 1950s-era building formerly occupied by Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning. His parents, Clifford and Tracie Pizzolato, had acquired the 3,000-square-foot property in 2014 for $564,295 and invested heavily in converting it into a fast-casual restaurant specializing exclusively in fried catfish dishes.

    But the location never performed as well as Pizzolato expected. After opening a second location in mid-2017 in the Mall of Louisiana food court, he realized there was demand for his product—just not in the Perkins Road Overpass neighborhood.

    “When we moved into the mall last July, we got a lot of business,” he says. “We realized people love our product.”

    Pizzolato says he is looking at several potential spots for his a new restaurant. In the meantime, he says he has a local restaurant tenant lined up for the building on Perkins Road and hopes to complete lease negotiations in the next two weeks.

    He declines to name the potential tenant, but says it is not a fast food chain.

    Pizzolato also is planning to launch a new food manufacturing business, Reel Food, that will sell his signature boudin balls to local retailers and also serve as a commissary for future Crispy Catch restaurants. The business will be based on Choctaw Drive in the building formerly occupied by Ready Portion Meat Co., which closed in 2016. Pizzolato acquired the building in 2017 for $180,000 and says it is ideal for his new business because it’s already USDA approved.

    “Anything commissary-wise we want to manufacture can be made through there,” he says. “And if we franchise in the future we can provide for our restaurants through that facility.”

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