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Two seek right to preserve a ‘part of Urbanna history’

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Payne’s Crab House (above), which has closed, operated at the end of Virginia Street on Urbanna Creek for several decades. Plans call for a new dock and continuing a seafood business at the site. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

by Tom Chillemi

Two Urbanna businessmen hope to continue a seafood business that has operated for nearly 20 years on Urbanna Creek.

“Payne’s Crab House” has been run by sisters Beatrice Taylor and Catherine Via on a narrow strip of land where Virginia Street meets Urbanna Creek.

At the 2012 Urbanna Oyster Festival customers lined up at the small kitchen for soft-shell crab sandwiches and crab cakes. Via said at that time the business would be closing.

Businessmen Lawrence Fuccella and Bill Hight want to keep that piece of working waterfront alive, Fuccella told the Urbanna Town Council at a special called meeting on Friday, January 18. “Bill [Hight] and I don’t want to see that part of Urbanna history disappear.”

Fuccella said the small operation would sell crabs during the season. Fuccella, who owns Cross Street Coffee and other businesses, said he has an ample staff that could help manage the crab business. He said the business would have regular hours and a set schedule, which are essential to business success.

Respecting the former business owners’ wishes, the new business would not be called Payne’s Crab House, said Fuccella.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 01.30.2013

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