It was just a day ago that Dobi's Rajin' Cajun restaurant in Broadmoor celebrated 14 months of being in business. With the oil spill in the Gulf ongoing, just doing day-to-day business here and at other seafood restaurants throughout the city is creating more challenges.
As the spill continues, Dobi's owner, Willis Melancon, says he is having to deal with delays in receiving seafood and at times not receiving scheduled deliveries at all.
"When I get my deliveries they're usually lacking the primary thing that I'm getting like the oysters and I'm already being told that the shrimp and some of the other items are going to be delayed as well," says Melancon.
Because of oyster beds being shut down in Louisiana,Melancon says, like many other restaurant owners, he is now buying some seafood from parts of Alabama that have not been affected by the spill. It is the increase in demand for products from those areas, that is leading to an increase in costs for customers.
"The first round went up about 30% and then just a little bit maybe about 10% up on this last round."
The hike in price for him to buy food, has led to about a $1 increase for some specials at Dobi's.
Aside from costs, another concern resulting from the spill is the safety of seafood. This is something that Melancon says consumers should not fear.
"I feel confident that the government, now especially, has inspectors down there making sure that what is brought out is not tainted in any way," said Melancon.
While at Dobi's I spoke with customer Gail Gilmore about whether the spill is causing her concerns about the safety of seafood. She said, 'No.'
" We understand that our Mississippi Gulf Coast is all right right now," said Gilmore.
As for when product delivery and prices for seafood restaurants will get back to normal, Melancon says he does not know.
"I've been asking the questions of my food suppliers and they're not giving that information. It's kind of on a weekly basis," Melancon said.