Local Fishmonger Closes Up Shop

by ARLnow.com February 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm 7,868 34 Comments

M. Slavin & Sons, a seafood seller located on South Glebe Road near I-395, has closed.

The store maintained a well-reviewed retail business of selling fresh seafood to consumers via a front counter. It also distributed seafood wholesale to local businesses.

Reached by phone, a store employee said the store had been losing business and has not been able to keep up with rising expenses. The store’s last day in business was Friday. The company is based in the New York City area and has other locations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Rhode Island, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Around lunchtime today, a steady stream of regular customers drove into the parking lot only to be greeted with “CLOSED” signs in the window. One woman said she came to M. Slavin to pick up seafood for most major holidays. Today, she was hoping to pick up crab legs for Valentine’s Day.

“Well, off to the waterfront I go, I guess,” she said, referring to the seafood market on Maine Avenue SW in the District.

“This is a big loss,” another customer said, via email. “They had by far the best fresh fish in the area.”

Hat tips to Sue W. and Josh M.

  • George B.

    This is a real shame. Great seafood there…

  • Lou

    Yeah, that is too bad. They opened around 2000 if I recall. I used to go there quite a bit with my girl back at the time.

    There’s also always Cannon’s in Georgetown as an alternative to the waterfront. The guys are super helpful and nice there.

  • Set the controls

    Agreed. I bought shellfish from them for years, as recently as last Thursday, and never got sick from eating it on the half-shell. I don’t think Maine Ave. can compare, at least not for parking.

  • NomNom

    Great seafood but better selection. I didnt like its location at that corner on glebe. A pain to get in and out of the parking lot.

    • Set the controls

      Having taken many (@300) left turns out of their lot I would call it (miraculously :)) easy. Maybe a handful of near-death experiences (literally). Best seafood value in town, and the staff were great.

  • Nooner

    There is also American Seafood on N.Woodrow St near Lee Hwy.

    • North Cherrydaler

      That’s a small shop, but they have some interesting stuff, and they’re so nice–will suggest recipe / cooking ideas that work out really well.

    • Set the controls

      Someone told me Slavin’s supplied all of American Seafood’s fresh filets. If so, what a mark-up.

  • CrystalMikey

    Maybe a Rite Aid can open there. hehe

  • Sad, sad day. But I do agree that the location was really hard — you could NEVER make a left out of there onto Glebe going north.

    • Set the controls

      That’s not true about the left turn. Folks coming off 395 *reliably* (like every time) let you through when there was a red light at the gas station

  • Kate

    Bummer. I was just thinking I need to spend more money there. Sorry, seafood peeps. 🙁

  • Kevin

    It definitely took a special skill to get in and out of the parking lot but I’ll miss them.

    They were generally cheaper than Whole Foods and the quality of the fish was much better than most of the other grocery stores.

    Anyone know of a good replacement in the area?

  • Newt

    Kevin, everyone is cheaper than Whole foods.

    • Kevin

      True enough but as far as grocery stores go, I found that only Slavins would beat them on quality.

      • Newt

        I agree. I was just bustin your chops.

  • charlie

    crab legs for valentine’s day? not sure about that.

    • JJ

      I’d go for the Blowfish 😐

      • charlie

        i’m hoping for some suckerfish.
        but i don’t want crabs for valentine’s.

  • YoBimbo

    Sad to see them go.

  • Alexandria Neighbor

    Crushed. They would steam the lobsters, service was great and they had very low turnover of employees. Plus, it was the only healthy/decent quality place for miles. Guess we can all stop at pizza hut on the way home (blechh).

  • G. Clifford Prout

    Get Wegmans to build on all that empty land near 395 and Shirlington.

    • charlie

      be careful what you wish for. you might get it. at least the big box retail part.

      • Lou

        It is a tough site for high volume retail for sure. I can’t really picture what used to be there. That building just kind of appeared real quick out of … something.

    • CrystalMikey

      That intersection is already a traffic nightmare!

    • AsherYuki

      I’ve been writing Wegmans to come to Shirlington for years. Knock down some of those unsightly warehouses and there would be plenty of room for a Wegmans in Shirlington. Along with Furniture stores.

      Tried to get Room and Board to build there too, but they chose 14th street w/o parking.

      • Set the controls

        I’d be at Wegman’s Shirlington on opening day, but to digress, eyesore that it is, the industrial bric-a-brac in Shirlington is indispensable. The county and its contractors have to put all that heavy equipment, pipe stock, culverts etc somewhere. If not in Shirlington they will put it in someone’s neighborhood park, like they did in Douglas Park seven years ago, and it is still there.

  • Fairlington Blade

    Ah, nuts. I liked going there quite a bit. One of the gems was the chunks of tuna or swordfish that you could get at discount after they’d sold the filets. I’ll really miss a few things as spring time is when the king salmon comes in and nobody’s was better. I even scored Dover sole a few times (and unlike TJ’s, could trust the labeling).

    Unfortunately, it looked like business had fallen off somewhat. It was a tough location to get in and get out of. I suppose it’s waterfront + mail order from now on. Catalina OP has good stuff.

    • Set the controls

      I’ve found Dover sole from TJ’s to be the only frozen fish there that you can thaw reliably. Is it in ill repute?

      Pathetic that we can’t get a stand-alone fish market around here. Now you’ve got Harris Teeter, Maine Ave, and Whole Foods, in that order. That bites for selection.

  • Creebs

    That sucks. It is amazing to me that the only crab that the Teet and Giant nearby sell is that AWFUL asian “crab” that Phillips cans. It is horrible. Jumbo lump wasn’t cheap at Slavin, but it was really fresh/good.

  • alebt

    What a loss!

  • Westover

    Their retail prices always seemed a bit high to me.

  • JacksonA

    “Couldn’t have happened to nicer guys”…These where the low lives from New York who recently declared Chapter 11 and owed vendors between 10 and $50 million. Yah Slavin family…….

  • frederick hintze

    Herb Slavin was the second meanest miserable man I have ever known second only to Jose Menendez. his greed is beyond belief.brother Jack was not much better, just a tad. I leased him his first truck in 1963 it was a Chevrolet 3/4 ton panel. I serviced the truck at Foster ave and East 83rd st. he never paid his bill he is a crook.


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