Saltbox Retires Its Original Old Five Points Location

Saying farewell to a tiny but mighty birthplace

Chef Ricky Moore outside the original (and now retired) Saltbox Seafood location in Old Five Points
Chef Ricky Moore outside the original (and now retired) Saltbox Seafood location in Old Five Points (Jennifer Kelly/JNK Public Relations)

By Dispatch Staff

Ricky Moore, chef and owner of Durham’s acclaimed Saltbox Seafood Joint, announced this week that he has closed the restaurant’s original take-out location in Old Five Points. But don’t worry: the restaurant’s second location at 2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard will keep right on going, and Saltbox fans have one last chance to pay a visit to the tiny shack where it all began.

Moore, a New Bern native, worked in fine dining kitchens in Chicago, New York, and Paris before returning home to cook in North Carolina restaurants. Five years later, after a visit to Singapore during which he became enthralled with street food stalls, he leased a tiny yellow stand on North Mangum Street—all 205 square feet of it—and quickly wowed diners with his offering of pristine, hyperlocal seafood. That offering includes familiar standards like fried oysters, flounder, and shrimp but also lesser-known but sustainable fish like mullet, amberjack and sheepshead.

“This is where it all started, and that makes it bittersweet,” Moore said in a statement, “but our lease has ended so we are retiring the original location.”

There will be one last hurrah, though. Moore is inviting fans to celebrate one final service at 608 North Mangum Street on Sunday, August 22nd. Starting at noon, he’ll be selling seasonal shrimp burgers on a first come, first serve basis until they are gone. (Limit two per customer.)

Moore also teased that he’ll have more news soon about future plans for the Saltbox Seafood Joint brand, and we guess those might be bigger than a 205-square-foot takeout stand.


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