Providence Has a New Seafood Shack
Dune Brothers is serving clam cakes and chowder, fish and chips, oysters and more from its takeout window.
Rejoice! Providence has a new seafood shack. I’ve been waiting since Blount closed its Jewelry District outpost quite some time ago. Travelers often ask me where to get clam cakes and chowder in Providence, and I am almost always at a loss on where to send them in the city (the answer was always Blount in East Providence, which is seasonal). Until now.
Dune Brothers Seafood serves clam cakes and chowder and fish and chips at a new outdoor space called the Shack. The Shack space is a partnership led by the owners of the Shop, a coffee shop and cafe in Fox Point, and team members include Dune Brothers Seafood, Design Under Sky and Stay Silent PVD.
Dune Brothers is located at 239 Dyer St., in Providence’s Innovation and Design District. The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission selected the business to operate a temporary food concession as part of an event venue and public space to bring more vibrancy to the area during construction. It’s a red shack on wheels run by New England chefs Jason Hegedus and Nicholas Gillespie. “We’re an unconventional, local, sustainable seafood shack so it’s very chef driven,” says Gillespie. “We change our menu a lot due to what the farms and fishermen have.”
The chowder ($7) has fresh littlenecks – still in shell —right in it, paired with handcut potatoes, housemade salt pork, fresh dill, chives and parsley in a New England-style cloudy, clam juicy broth. It’s as good, if not better – dare I say it? – as our favorite Rhode Island clam shacks.
The fish and chips ($7-$14) and clam cakes ($7) are coated with a crisp beer batter made with Narragansett lager. They use sustainable fish for fish and chips. This time, it was dog fish, also known as Cape Shark, landed in a boat off Chatham, Massachusetts. It’s as white and flaky as cod or haddock, and you’d never really know the difference. They also have a market fish offering. Today, it was mussels ($10), but it could be sea bass or something else, depending on what’s available. They also offer Ninigret Nectars oysters for $2.75 each. Raw oysters for lunch? Why not.
The chefs are from the area, but they started out doing popups together in Portland, Oregon. “I am from Cape Cod, he’s from South County [pointing at Hegedus],” says Gillespie. “We were both living out there and we started doing these popups because we were both homesick.” They introduced Portland to stuffed quahogs and smelts, and they knew they wanted to make the business full-time, but be back home.
They were looking for a bricks and mortar spot, which they still are, hopefully on the West End. For now you can enjoy lunch at Dune Brothers Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. “The idea is to have people down here all the time,” says Hegedus. “We want to bring people out here to see what’s going on.”
The vast outdoor space of the Shack includes ample picnic table seating (and a porta potty), so you can grab your food to-go and sit and enjoy it. Take advantage of the fall weather while it lasts at Providence’s newest seafood shack. 239 Dyer St., Providence, 718-578-0286, facebook.com/dunebrothersseafood