SUNRISE, Fla. — A 110-year-old lobster named Larry came dangerously close to being the main course, but a group of his newest best friends came together and saved him.
“It’s such an odd occasion to pull out a big lobster,” restaurant owner Joseph Melluso said.
Once he found out about the 15-pound catch, Melluso immediately wanted the lobster on the Tin Fish menu at his Sunrise, Florida restaurant.
As the crustacean came dangerously close to becoming someone’s dinner at Tin Fish, Amir Rossi put calls out to friends who helped launch the rescue effort to save the Larry’s life.
And when they did, Melluso had an emotional change of heart.
“When there was a group that wanted to save him, I was disappointed in myself, for not having that feeling myself,” he said.
Rossi convinced three friends with area businesses to pitch in with him for the $300 it would cost to save Larry. But asking for the money wasn’t easy. Or believable.
“I asked him if he would like to go ahead and contribute to saving a lobster, he was on the other end of the phone and he didn’t know whether to laugh, or think that I’m crazy, or what. We decided to go ahead and rescue it. We put together a team of people,” Rossi said.
The team didn’t stop there. A lot had to be done to get Larry to ready for the journey from Florida to his new home in Maine.
“I ran down to the beach, soaked a beach towel in salt water, had to package it, put it in my freezer for the night,” Brooke Estren said.
Larry had to be laid out on a bed of ice and wrapped in a towel before being sent off. He’s heading to the Maine State Aquarium, where officials will decide if they should release him into the wild or set up new digs for him in an aquarium exhibit, alongside a 17-pound lobster already living there.
“He’s been around a long time, hopefully, he’ll keep growing, and he’ll enjoy his new home,” Estren said.
So no matter what happens, Larry won’t be alone and he won’t be dipped in butter.
And the team is pretty proud.