ENGLEWOOD — Finnie Haire, owner of the popular South Side restaurant Haire’s Gulf Shrimp, died Jan. 26. He was 80.
The retired Navy veteran spent decades serving fried shrimp out of various locations throughout the South Side before eventually operating out of 7448 S. Vincennes Ave., with several relatives and his wife, Aisha Haire.
Haire’s Gulf Shrimp had fans so dedicated they’d cross state lines for its deep-fried Gulf shrimp, a recipe the patriarch inherited from his mother.
Haire’s family members could not immediately be reached for comment, but a tribute to him was posted on the business’ Facebook page.
“Through the years you have molded us to keep the Gulf alive as long as I have breath in my body I will do my best. Forever in my heart, forever in my mind,” the post reads.
The restaurant was featured in a ABC7 Hungry Hound segment in 2018, showcasing how its signature offering was always fresh, never frozen. The shrimp was butterflied to increase the surface area, then coated in a wet marinade and a seasoned, dry breading before being fried. It was always served up alongside saltines and the patron’s choice of sauce.
The wet and dry coatings were a family secret, the couple said.
Ald. Rod Sawyer (6th) said he is working on a City Council resolution in honor of Haire, who worked as a postal worker before striking out on his own business.
Visitation for the “Shrimp Man” will be 4-7 p.m. Friday at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, 14618 Lincoln Ave., in Harvey.
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