From empanadas to South Shore-style bar pizza, from macarons to pierogi, the food roster for the forthcoming Bow Market in Somerville’s Union Square is shaping up to be something special. The newest vendor to be announced is Hooked Fish Shop, which will sell fresh, local seafood from Red’s Best; smoked seafood products from Boston Smoked Fish Company; and ready-to-eat, street food-inspired dishes incorporating seafood from both companies.
“We want the menu to be creative, quick, and affordable,” said Hooked co-owner and chef Jason Tucker. Customers can expect to see Iggy’s bagels with smoked fish, a couple of soups and chowders, and “creative takes on street food,” such as fish tacos, a scallion pancake wrap, banh mi, and poke bowls, all of which will highlight the fresh and smoked seafood from Red’s Best and Boston Smoked Fish Company.
Space is tight, but there will likely be a couple of counter seats inside, and Bow Market as a whole will have shared seating inside and out. The Hooked front window is designed to open all the way when weather permits, and there may be a raw bar outside.
Tucker and Hooked co-owner Jimmy Rider have been fixtures at Boston-area farmers markets and elsewhere in the Boston food scene for years. Tucker, previously a restaurant chef, is currently a contractor for Red’s Best, running the company’s farmers market presence; he’ll continue to do so once Hooked opens (catch him at the Copley Square and Dewey Square markets next season.) He’s also a licensed commercial fisherman.
As for Rider, he owns and operates Evergreen Delivery, delivering Red’s Best fish shares, Christmas trees, and farmers market products around town via bicycle. Like Tucker, he’ll continue to make farmers market appearances after the opening of Hooked. Over the past five or six years, Rider has also sold and delivered fresh mozzarella for Fiore di Nonno, and he’s worked farmers markets and delivered for Boston Smoked Fish Company, Stillman Quality Meats, and more.
Tucker and Rider became friends through their farmers market work and partnered last year to start up the aforementioned Red’s Best fish share program. “We both enjoy interacting with customers, and we both hustle hard,” said Tucker.
Rider recalls that while he and Tucker had met previously, it was in 2016 that they became fast friends when Rider began selling Red’s Best at the Belmont farmers market. “[Tucker] was incredibly supportive and a great mentor for me,” said Rider. “There has been a great, natural, even organic understanding that’s grown. I feel our skill sets and demeanors complement each other quite well. I often bring the mad energy, while Jason exudes a quiet, wise warmth.”
While Tucker and Rider are proud to represent Red’s Best and Boston Smoked Fish Company in their various farmers market capacities and at their future shop, neither brand has an ownership stake or other financial involvement with Hooked Fish Shop, but they will be providing brand support, explained Tucker. He and Rider are the sole owners of Hooked.
Tucker and Rider are currently running a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo in hopes of raising $25,000 to help with the buildout of the shop, including the purchase they describe as the most significant — the ice machine. The campaign will run for two months and includes backer perks such as Hooked branded t-shirts, hats, and hoodies; an insulated tote (to bring fish home from the market); a tour of the Red’s Best facility (with a goody bag of fresh fish); Hooked gift cards in a variety of amounts; a three-course seafood dinner for 10; and even a Christmas tree trimming party (Rider will dress up like Santa to deliver the tree, and Tucker will provide seafood snacks, such as mini lobster rolls and shrimp cocktail.)
Hooked Fish Shop could open in spring 2018, depending on the progress of the Bow Market buildout as a whole. Keep an eye on the shop’s website for updates.