Photos Cameron Flaisch
Cartersville, Ga. is not exactly located near the ocean. The next best thing is Lake Allatoona or the Etowah River.
So, the idea of getting fresh, quality seafood seems a little far-fetched. But not too long ago, John Pettinati found Cartersville and said that it would be perfect to house his seafood restaurant.
In 2015 Main Street Coastal opened its doors and Cartersville was skeptical. They had been promised quality seafood before, but every time something didn’t quite work out. Pettinati and his staff say that since serving the first dish and greeting the first diner at the door, Cartersville has not been disappointed.
Main Street Coastal is Pentinatti’s first restaurant ownership but this isn’t his first rodeo in the industry.
With 20 years of experience under his belt, Petinatti knows how to run a restaurant successfully. “I started in the industry in 1980 in Charlotte, N. Carolina. I started as a busser and a dishwasher, and then I was a waiter and a bartender and did a little bit of everything. I then went into management. I was in management for several restaurant chains in North Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey.”
But it was always a dream of his to own his own restaurant. When he found Cartersville, he knew that this was the place to begin.
Why seafood, you may ask?
Pettinati says it felt like the perfect niche in Cartersville. “At the time there were no other seafood restaurants other than Red Lobster and Captain D’s,” he recalls. “Luckily, he found his place here and Cartersville has enjoyed his food ever since.
“We’ve had growth, mostly over the last two years. I thank many of our regular customers who have supported us since the beginning, because they are the reason we are successful. Some come daily, some weekly, and some monthly; we have a lot of supportive people come into our restaurant. Cartersville has supported us from the start.”
But his main supporter has been his wife, Colleen. “My wife has been the most supportive of anyone. She is just outstanding. She has been a sport through the whole thing. She likes the restaurant business, but she doesn’t love the restaurant business. Still, she has supported me wholeheartedly throughout the whole process. She did all of the interior decorating and people love it.”
All of this love and support translates to the plates, and when asking around most say the food is top notch.
The three top menu items are the Fish and Chips, which are beer battered before being fried. The Shrimp and Scallop grits are another hit.
“ Our shrimp and scallop grits are unique because the dish is made with Tasso Ham, Andouille sausage and a white wine garlic tomato sauce. It’s just a little twist on traditional shrimp and grits.”
And finally, the Trout is another favorite. Taken from the waters of North Carolina, pan seared and topped with a lemon beurre blanc and a few capers, this menu item is a favorite among Main Street Coastal regulars.
These delicious dishes can be served with your favorite drink. Pentinati says that one favorite is the house margarita. “It’s made with our own sour mix that we make here in house with fresh juices and fresh cane sugar.” You can get a half priced margarita on Fiesta Fridays which pair well with $10 tacos. Some of the other specials he runs are half-priced appetizers at the bar and high tops Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m.
Oysters are half-price on Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. at the bar and high tops. Lunch specials run every day with haddock, catfish and flounder for $12, along with a burger, a chicken sandwich or fish sandwich with a soft drink and a side for $8.
But maintaining the quality his patrons have come to expect wouldn’t be possible without his staff.
Hannah Lusk is the Head Chef and Kitchen Manager. Lusk has been in the restaurant business her whole life due to her mother running a catering business. She has been running the kitchen for four months now. Pentinatti says that his friend Orlando Pal helped him get off the ground. He also contributes the quality of food and service to his loyal staff who have been with him for over a year now.
With a strong team and an innovative menu, Main Street Coastal hopes to continue offering the fresh seafood that foodies have come to know and love.
The next time you have a hankering for bounty from the sea, have a margarita and imagine that you are on a beach and let the flavors of Main Street Coastal take you away from the ordinary.
24 West Main Street
Mon – Thurs 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri & Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.