A Shortage of Mussels, an Abundance of Panic


By Mae Velasco, Assistant Editor

Hopleaf, a well-to-do tavern in the Windy City, is trying not to get blown over by the mussel shortage permeating across Chicago. Hopleaf, known for their Belgian-style mussels served with broth and a baguette, normally spends six days a week sorting through their latest shipment plucked from the harbors along Prince Harbor Island. However, for weeks, that station has gone unused.

The harsh winter and freezing temperatures have impended the mussel harvest.

“This is something that has never happened to us before," owner Michael Roper said. "If we ordered 300 pounds of mussels, maybe we get 40 pounds, maybe we don't get any. Every other customer that walks in here made a special trip because they had a hankering for mussels, so we went into panic mode.” 

In the last month, there have been at least 10 days Hopleaf received no orders, when normally they would receive at least 200 pounds daily. To combat this temporary setback, his team has begun serving creamy clam chowder, but his restaurant is still losing money as disappointed customers walk out the door due at the news of no mussels.

How else has Chicago been coping with the mussel mayhem? Read More