North Grand Seafood now open in Ames’ Northern Lights Center

Seafood is now a more convenient lunch and dinner option for locals in north Ames after North Grand Seafood officially opened its doors for business Thursday.

According to Store Manager Wie Chai, the idea for a new restaurant in the Northern Lights Center business district of Ames came about after North Cyde Kitchen & Kegs closed its doors permanently earlier this year. “We found that we really don’t have many seafood restaurants in Ames,” Chai explained. “[The owners] are originally from China near the sea, and they are familiar with how to cook seafood. So, they decided to open a restaurant and see how people like it.”

Chai, who brings a long record of past restaurant experience to the table, sees the location as an opportunity to provide a convenient but different eating experience to those in the area. “It’s closer to the ‘local community’…more of a residential area,” he said. “It’s also a bigger place for a dine-in restaurant, and we just didn’t want to have a tiny place.”

North Grand Seafood plans to offer a wide array of uniquely-prepared dishes. Chai sees the cultural influence of the menu primarily identifying as American, but he acknowledged it will vary depending on a customer’s order. “We have crab, small crab, and crawfish,” he noted. “We have many options. I would recommend the po’ boy for sure. It will be sort of like Joe’s Crab Shack, where you build your own basket.”

Ownership plans to offer carryout only throughout the early stages of the store’s life, but also plans to expand its amenities as the global pandemic starts to come to a close. “We won’t have open dining here in the beginning,” Chai relayed. “We are just doing carryout and will let people taste our food first. After a month or so, we will probably start offering delivery. Down the road, we will open dine-in options, when things start to get better, possibly when the vaccine comes out.”

Chai is hopeful that people from around Story County explore the different options North Grand Seafood offers. He is confident they will not be disappointed. “There’s no other seafood around here,” he concluded. “Red Lobster is a different type of menu. We’re going to try to be more reasonable and offer more of a variety.”

North Grand Seafood will be open every day, except for Tuesdays, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It is located at 823 Wheeler Street, Suite 1 in Ames. You may visit to view an online menu. Orders can be placed by calling 515-663-8888.

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