Alabama Mobile Shrimp Basket
Eddie Spence, 50, Gulf Shores
Occupation: He is co-owner of 11 Shrimp Basket restaurants and The Steamer and Baked Oyster Bar, and sole owner of Mikee’s Seafood and Shrimpy’s Mini Golf.
The Press-Register reported that Spence and business partner David Cahoon delayed plans to open a Shrimp Basket in Mobile, given the uncertainty created by the oil spill, but opened in October on Old Shell Road. Claims filed with BP for all the restaurants resulted in money received for May and part of June and July. Revenue at the five beach restaurants was down 25 percent to 35 percent in June, compared to the same period in 2009. On Nov. 14, Spence said he had received payment in full on all but four of their restaurants. The four were in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, and were underpaid from 6 percent to 56 percent, he said. Spence attended one of claims czar Ken Feinberg’s public meetings and gave him the information to show the discrepancy involving the restaurants. “He told me, ‘It looks like they got slighted.’”
Outlook: “Providing no major oil washes ashore, we’re looking for a good year,” he said. “There is still skepticism in people’s minds about swimming in the Gulf and about eating seafood. That’s why BP should pay people like me and seafood shops and those directly involved in the seafood industry. This perception is going to carry on into the future. Our seafood prices are still high, especially oysters and crab claws — they are up 25 to 30 percent since the oil spill.” And, he said, “You can’t raise (menu) prices in a bad economy.”
Claims process: Spence has received emergency claims funds and he filed his final settlement claim two weeks ago. “I fully expect to be taken care of in a respectful manner,” he said. So far, what he has received for his restaurants is not close to what they earned the previous summer, he said. “When they pay me the final settlement, we should be made whole at that point.”