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April 16, 2021

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Joe’s Crab Shack closes permanently

Owner cites impact of ban on dine-in services due to virus

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

Joe’s Crab Shack on Vancouver’s waterfront has closed permanently, its parent company announced Monday.

The popular seafood eatery at 101 S.E. Columbia Way is the latest victim in a string of closures of local restaurants wiped out by the novel coronavirus, including Sweet Tomatoes in east Vancouver, Low Bar in downtown Vancouver, The Hockinson Cafe in Battle Ground and Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground.

Keith Beitler, executive vice president and COO of Landry’s Inc., the parent company to Joe’s Crab Shack, confirmed that the closure was caused by the pandemic.

“Due to COVID-19 and the city’s elimination of dine-in services, we have decided to enforce our lease provisions and terminate our lease,” Beitler said in a statement given to The Columbian. “We are grateful for the support of our community throughout the years.”

The buildings that house Joe’s Crab Shack and its neighbor, Who Song and Larry’s, were in talks to be purchased by Kirkland Development Group, which wants to build two nine-story mixed-use buildings on the property. Dana Gardner, manager of the project, told The Columbian in 2019 that the company was negotiating with both restaurants to bring them back into the new development.

The former owner of Joe’s Crab Shack chain, Ignite Restaurant Group Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017 and closed some of its weaker locations, but Vancouver’s location stayed open. Landry’s Inc. bought the chain in 2017, along with another chain, Brick House Tavern + Taps, for $57 million.

Other Joe’s Crab Shack locations around the country have begun to reopen during the pandemic. On Facebook, the company announced that its Nashville and Tempe, Ariz., locations reopened Monday. Its website shows 50 Joe’s Crab Shack locations are still open in the U.S.

Landry’s owns a handful of restaurants including Jake’s Crawfish, McCormick & Schmick’s, Portland City Grill and more.

This story was updated to accurately state that Joe’s Crab Shack and Who Song and Larry’s buildings were not set to be demolished. The Kirkland Development Group was interested in purchasing the properties from the properties’ landlords, but no deal has been accepted.

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