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CudaCo is now open on James Island

CudaCo, which recently opened in the James Island shop previously occupied by Huff’s Seafood, is dealing in surf but selling it like turf.

“We’re really focusing on having an old-school butcher kind of vibe,” said co-owner Shaun Brian.

According to Brian, that aesthetic informs both the market’s service style and selection of cuts in the display case, which include bone-in fish chops and cured speckled trout hams. In addition to raw oysters, CudaCo is offering an array of smoked shellfish and plans to offer dry-aged fish.

Brian and his partner, Chris John of Oyster Point Seafood, are adamant about limiting waste: They’re grinding down scrap trim and freezing it as pellets to serve as supplemental pet food.

“We’re both really active in ocean advocacy because of our love for water sports,” said Brian, a St. John native who was head chef at Parcel 32 when he met John; the two were contacted this summer by the new owners of the building at 765 Folly Road about developing the space.

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They retained the full kitchen that Huff’s stopped using more than a decade ago, putting it in the hands of Graham Calabria, most recently executive chef at Barsa. His opening menu, which is oriented toward grab-and-go, includes smoked oyster benne stew, pickled shrimp and a fish sandwich that the team “definitely wants to be a star.”

As for the name, it’s a reference to barracudas, which are typically dismissed as trash fish. But growing up, Brian had a pet barracuda named Charlie who lived under his dad’s boat. Charlie followed the boat on family fishing trips until Brian’s brother inadvertently caught Charlie.

“We never saw Charlie again,” Brian said.

For more information, go to cudaco.com or call 239-851-2347. CudaCo is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

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