Crabby's Beachwalk Celebrates First Anniversary
by Donna Malloy
Photo Courtesy Crabby's Beachwalk
"Is your Dad REALLY crabby?"
"Yes" Matt Loder Sr., CEO and son of Crabby Bill and the late Dolores Loder, softly replied with a loving grin.
Crabby Bill's story began in 1964 in Westville Grove, New Jersey, where Bill and Dolores opened their first seafood restaurant. With the famous Jersey shore less than an hour away, the Loders were destined to a life of crabbing and fishing.
Wanting a "change of scenery" according to Matt, in 1968 the family relocated to Florida and after some years on shrimp boats, blue crabbing and stone crabbing in 1974 they opened Captain Bill's Beach Kitchen on Redington Shores, then Madeira Beach, Bay Pines and eventually Tyrone Boulevard in St. Petersburg.
Captain Bills was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and featured fresh seafood caught by Bill and cooked by Dolores. "They were a good team" Matt reflects.
The restaurant was so successful that it was eventually sold after which in April of 1983 the Loder family opened another seafood restaurant on Indian Rocks Beach. It was Matt's sister Eleanor who named the new restaurant:
"Daddy likes selling crabs, he likes eating crabs and Daddy is crabby; let's just call it Crabby Bills!"
Today, Crabby Bill has two restaurants on Clearwater Beach at 37 Causeway Boulevard and their new one at 333 S. Gulfview Boulevard at Beachwalk, the original on Indian Rocks Beach at 401 Gulf Boulevard, one in Tarpon Springs at 900 Pinellas Avenue and others in Tampa, St. Pete Beach, St. Cloud and Kissimmee.
The newly opened Crabby's Beachwalk Bar & Grill offers a slightly different menu than the Crabby Bills restaurants, appetizers such as Clams Diablo, Southwest Crab Dip and Quesadillas are exclusive to this location. Grouper entrees and sandwiches feature either red or black grouper fresh off local boats and their succulent oysters are from Apalachicola Bay. Be sure to try the Baked Bleu Cheese Oysters; 1/2 dozen freshly shucked oysters topped with creamy blue cheese, Parmesan cheese and chopped cherry peppers for $6.99.
Bairdi Jumbo Alaskan Snow Crab is another entrée that they are famous for. Alaskan Bairdi snow crab, found in the Bering Sea, is favored by our guests over the Alaskan Red King crab. "It's meatier" stated Matt.
Did someone say shrimp? Crabby's Beachwalk offers beer boiled shrimp, steamed shrimp, popcorn shrimp, buffalo shrimp, fried shrimp, coconut shrimp, grilled shrimp, bacon wrapped shrimp and shrimp combos.
Kids can sample their own "Kids Snow Crab" for $7.99; served with Oreo, homemade chips and a soft drink.
"Dad always said that tourists were our bread and locals were our butter. We think bread tastes better with butter. We like to pride ourselves on treating everyone of our customers like a guest in our home." In August, Crabby's Beachwalk Bar & Grill will be celebrating their one year anniversary featuring daily specials at this location like steamed clams buy one dozen get the second dozen half price and on Mondays in August Grouper Sandwiches are $4.99 dine in only. Reservations are not required; in fact a walk in party of 50 can "easily be accommodated" according to Matt. "We want to show the locals and everyone how well we can treat them and invite them in for our hospitality." And not to be forgotten; colorful Florida sunsets from Crabby's Beachwalk second floor open deck.
Crabby's Beachwalk serves their full menu until 1 a.m. nightly seven (7) days a week; Happy Hour is from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. For further information, go to: www.crabbybills.com/locations for a Crabby Bill's near you. Or call: 727-608-2065 for Crabby's Beachwalk Bar & Grill at 333 Gulfview Boulevard on Clearwater Beach.
Recently, Crabby Bill celebrated his 77th birthday. "Matt, does your Dad really look like his picture in the ads?" I asked. "Everyone thinks so except my Dad, he said he's better looking than that."
On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever. Especially if you're sitting on the second floor open deck of Crabby's Beachwalk Bar & Grill on south Clearwater Beach; celebrating their one year anniversary in August.
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