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Superior Fish to close; where will Red Wings fans get their octopus?

After selling fish, crab and other seafood for more than seven decades in Royal Oak, the family-owned Superior Fish Co. has been hooked by a buyer and is closing up shop.

The store is closing Saturday after nearly 80 years in business. The company was founded in 1940 on Main Street before moving to Fourth Street in the 1950s and then settling at 309 E. 11 Mile Road in the 1980s, co-owner Kevin Dean said.

The 15,067-square-foot retail space, which occupies a prime downtown corner, was sold to Royal Oak-based Versa Real Estate for $2.65 million.

Superior Fish has been linked to the Detroit Red Wings for decades as the business has been featured in national outlets such as Sports Illustrated and The Wall Street Journal as an octopus supplier for fans to throw on the ice, a longtime tradition during playoff games. Dean said Superior Fish sold more than 100 octopuses for a single game during the Red Wings' 1998 Stanley Cup run, and again for the final games the team played at Joe Louis Arena last spring.

When asked about why they decided to close up shop, Dean said "There's a passage in the Bible that says 'To everything there is a season' and now is the time for the Superior Fish boat to come to shore."

Kevin Dean said he has been running the business with his brother, David, for decades after spending their childhood working in the shop. Superior Fish has a staff of 10.

"We closed on Tuesday, June 12," Kevin Dean said. "We picked that date because that was our father's birthday. We decided to close the business this weekend, again, because it's Father's Day weekend — this is in homage to our [late] father."

David Dean negotiated the sale, while Colliers International represented the buyer and seller. The property was assessed at $443,020, according to Oakland County records.

Versa plans to market the property for lease as office or retail space, promoting the on-site parking of about 40 spaces as a bonus, said Steve Badgero, vice president of Colliers. Versa, which has corporate headquarters a few blocks south of the building, does not have immediate plans to build it out.

The official last day of full service of retail and wholesale business will be Saturday. Next week the store will sell off boxes of frozen food. Next weekend, Superior will have a garage sell where fans of the fish market can buy signage and other memorabilia.

The brother owners did not disclose revenue of the seafood store.