GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCBD) – Independent Seafood has been serving customers for more than 80 years, but the locally owned and operated market will soon close its doors after selling the land where the market and docks currently sit.

“I was shocked,” lifelong Independent Seafood customer Bryan Gray said. “I come in here two or three times a week. I don’t really know what I’m going to do now.”

Georgetown neighbors are disappointed after learning the city’s historic seafood market and docks will soon be closed.

“It’s sad really,” Gray said. “I know the people that work here real good, and it’s just a great place to come, you know?”

Employees say business has been rough for the shrimping industry the last few years. They’ve struggled to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and inflated fuel prices, but they never suspected it would come to this.

Customers like Gray who have shopped at the market for years are still in disbelief.

“I love to come to get my salmon and stuff,” Gray said. “You know, they got some real good salmon. I’m just kind of upset right now, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

He says the food quality and the employees are the two things that kept reeling him back for more than 40 years.

“It was just always good, and like I said, the people, they’re real friendly that work here,” Gray said.

Gray is optimistic that once the market and the docks are gone, the property will be put to good use.

“Hopefully they’ll put something good here. The town’s growing and doing good. I think we got a good mayor and everything,” he said.

However, he says it’ll be hard to replace a Georgetown staple like Independent Seafood.

“Everybody is going to miss them,” Gray said. “I’m just shocked, man. I couldn’t believe it.”

Georgetown Mayor Carol Jayroe says she is aware of the Independent Seafood property sale, but she says she will wait until a later date to comment.