Fulshear seafood restaurant serves fresh food in family-run environment

The seared tuna appetizer ($12.95) is served with a side of avocado next to the tuna. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
The seared tuna appetizer ($12.95) is served with a side of avocado next to the tuna. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)

The seared tuna appetizer ($12.95) is served with a side of avocado next to the tuna. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The seared tuna appetizer ($12.95) is served with a side of avocado next to the tuna. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Jimmy Cantu took over his family’s Needville restaurant in 1999. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The fried seafood platter ($20.95) consists of fried shrimp, fried stuffed crab, fried fish and hush puppies. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The gumbo bowl ($10.25) is made from scratch daily. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Jimmy Cantu’s love of seafood has been going strong since he was a child. In 1997, his parents started the original Pier 36 seafood restaurant in Needville.

“We’ve been in the restaurant business since I was a kid. It was kind of my day care after school. Instead of going home, that’s where I would go and learn how to cook and tool around in the kitchen. So it’s kind of been my passion forever. I’ve been in the restaurant business for all my life,” Cantu said.

In 1999, Cantu helped take over the Needville restaurant from his parents before opening a Richmond location in 2006 and a Fulshear location in 2018. In 2012, he closed the Needville location to focus on the one in Richmond.

Pier 36, named after Hwy. 36, where the original restaurant was, specializes in fresh, flavorful seafood. Cantu aims to use high-quality ingredients with many items being made from scratch daily.

“During crawfish season, we sell a ton of boiled crawfish. People really enjoy our seasoning and our spice. Everything’s pretty much made from scratch as far as all the menu items,” Cantu said. “We use all Gulf shrimp and farm-raised domestic catfish, so you can taste the difference in the quality of the product.”


Even though Cantu is the only one in the family who owns the business, there are still small ways in which his relatives help out around the restaurant. One of his sisters does the majority of the print ads and designs the menu, while his other sister’s husband owns a construction company and helped with the build-out at both locations.

With there being so many seafood restaurants in the Houston area, Pier 36 had to find a way to stand out. He said community involvement is what sets it apart.

“We’ve just always believed in giving back. I think that’s what sets us apart from the chains. Especially now with COVID[-19], it seems like you put a spotlight on small businesses and supporting local. We just tried to give back to the community as much as we can,” Cantu said.

While Cantu said he possibly sees potential for expansion, for now he is focusing on making the two restaurants the best they can be.
By Sierra Rozen

Metro Reporter, South Houston

Sierra joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in September of 2021 after graduating with a degree in communication and a minor in journalism from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX. Sierra covers all things in the South Houston area but in particular covers Friendswood ISD, Friendswood City Council and Harris County METRO. Prior to CI, Sierra served as the viewpoints and life and arts editor for Hilltop Views, as well as interning for Austin Woman Magazine.