PRESCOTT - Childhood sweethearts Mike and Michelle Magee have been married going on 31 years.
They apparently were good catches for each other, and are focusing on another kind of "catch" as owners of the Prescott Lobster & Seafood Co. in the Firehouse Plaza downtown.
"We fly our lobster and most of our fish from Bar Harbor, Maine," Michelle said. "And we only use wild-caught shrimp flown in from Louisiana. And it is really important that it is wild-caught. You will never find any farm-raised fish here."
The Magees grew up north of Boston, moved to Prescott from New England two years ago and opened Prescott Lobster & Seafood Co. in January.
"We knew we were going to be in the Southwest," Michelle said. "And we discovered Prescott and fell in love (with the city). "
Michelle said she wanted to bring her favorites back to Prescott.
"So, we contacted some of our contacts back East. And I discovered that, 'Yeah, we could put this place together,'" she said.
Michelle brings more than a decade of experience in Maine and Cape Cod, Mass. She said she operated a café in Maine serving health foods, and sold hot dogs, hamburgers and lobster rolls from a truck on Maine beaches.
Before moving to Prescott, Michelle said she and Mike owned a restaurant on Cape Cod that focused on comfort food "with a healthier twist."
Mike said he worked on fishing and recreational boats all over New England for 30 years.
The Magees' new restaurant offers a "friendly, casual atmosphere, just like a friendly New England lobster shack," Michelle said.
Michelle said Prescott Lobster & Seafood Co. has cultivated a clientele consisting of transplants from New England as well as long-time Prescott residents "who have discovered us."
She said the eatery has tried to increase visibility by hiring a retired social worker from New York to serve as a mascot. Lobster Man dons a red suit, and hands out menus at the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza and other venues in Prescott.
"He can be found all around Prescott," Michelle said. "Sometimes he goes rogue."
She urges customers to post sightings of Lobster Man on the eatery's Facebook page.
Michelle said her goal is to increase business and become part of the community by supporting charities. She plans to serve clam chowder during the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser Sunday at the courthouse plaza.
"Typically, people come in to get a full-size lobster," Michelle said. "It is an authentic Maine lobster."
Customers may order four styles of lobster rolls: Maine, Ipswich, Nova Scotia or Connecticut. They cost $7.99 for a mini roll and $13.99 for full size, and come with a choice of coleslaw, macaroni salad or Cape Cod kettle-cooked potato chips.
The restaurant also serves other rolls (tuna, egg salad, chicken salad and barbecued beef) that cost $7.49, fish cakes that start at $6.99. shrimp tacos for $8.99, soups and Italian gelato.
"We also offer gluten-free items, and our menu items can be put on a salad," Michelle said.
She said the lobster rolls are "the star of the show" for customers, adding, "And most people enjoy them with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine."