An iconic Cape Cod seafood restaurant is expanding

Get ready.

The Lobster Pot's famous neon sign on the front of the restaurant.
The Lobster Pot's famous neon sign on the front of the restaurant. –The Lobster Pot / Mike Potenza

Provincetown’s iconic Lobster Pot is known for its award-winning clam chowder, linguica-crusted cod, and, of course, its lobster.

“You name it, we’ve got it in lobster,” said Tim McNulty, executive chef and owner of the Lobster Pot, ticking off lobster dishes from his menu that include pan-roasted lobster, lobster tacos, lobster ravioli, lobster pot pie, and a lobster avocado appetizer.

A lobster roll from The Lobster Pot in Provincetown. —Courtesy The Lobster Pot

And soon, you’ll no longer have to travel to the tip of the Cape to dine on The Lobster Pot’s offerings. The restaurant has announced plans to open more establishments across the Northeast.

McNulty said his team, which is working with Emerging Franchises, is starting to advertise franchise opportunities this month.

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“It’s very exciting,” he said. “We’re told all the time by customers that they love this place and they’d like to have one similar to it in their own town.”

McNulty said he would like to see one or two more Lobster Pot restaurants open by the end of 2018,  and then a couple per year after that.

“We’re not in any rush,” he said. “We’re going to be very selective. We’re proud of what we do and we want similar, passionate people to open [these restaurants].”

Baked stuffed lobsters served at the Lobster Pot in Provincetown.
Baked stuffed lobsters served at the Lobster Pot in Provincetown. —The Lobster Pot / Mike Potenza

The new restaurants will be 5,000 to 6,000 square feet and seat 120 people, McNulty said. They’ll also be open year-round, unlike the seasonal Cape location, which McNulty said he plans to open this year from April to November.

Just like the original, the additional locations will include a dining room, open kitchen, visible lobster tanks, and a lively bar/lounge area, as well as many, if not all, of the same menu items. But while there’s a lobster market and raw bar in Provincetown, those aspects won’t necessarily carry over to the new spots, McNulty said.

Neither, of course, will the view.

“They won’t have the view of Provincetown Harbor or walk in off of Provincetown’s Commercial Street,” McNulty said. “We know it’s not going to be identical. We know it’s not going to be the same. And that’s fine. But we want the food to be the same. We want the service to be the same. We want the feeling to be the same.”

The Portuguese Fish dish served at The Lobster Pot. —The Lobster Pot / Mike Potenza
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McNulty, who will serve as a consultant for the new restaurants, wants to see the new teams embrace Cape Cod hospitality — that is, he said, treating guests like family. After all, The Lobster Pot is family-run — McNulty’s mother, Joy McNulty, bought the restaurant in 1979, and Tim McNulty has worked there over the years with his mother, three siblings, and extended family members. Of McNulty’s staff of about 100, many have been with the restaurant for more than 20 years and he considers them family, he said.

“I think that’s the key to success right there,” McNulty said. “You want people to feel special — and they deserve it. That’s what they get here, and that’s what we’re going to push for in these new locations.”

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