It started at The Grocery. I heard that Chef Kevin Johnson had, of all things, soft shell crabs on his menu this week. But how could that be? Soft shell season in Charleston is typically March and April when blue crabs grow super fast bursting out of their hard shells and revealing a tasty albeit vulnerable softer side. We’ve documented the hotly anticipated softie season for years typically with Stephanie Barna’s epic soft shell crab crawls around town. But thanks to some cooler temps up North, you don’t have until spring to wait to get your softie fix.

The Grocery, Park Cafe, and Edmund’s Oast all have soft shell crabs on the menu this week.

Grocery publicist Becky Tanenbaum says Johnson is getting his from North Carolina. “He said that they’re always molting and it’s just dependent on the amount of crabs molting for the shredders to set up their equipment. As the water begins to cool again, more crabs molt,” she says.