Lunch: M-F 11:30 AM - 2PM; Dinner: M-Sa 5PM - 1:25 AM, Su 7 PM - 1:25 AM
(609) 392-9041 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
Justin’s Crab Shack serves fresh, fabulous home-made seafood (plus a selection of other foods suitable for carnivores and vegetarians) at the Regal I Bar on North Clinton Ave. You order in the back and eat in the bar.
North Clinton? Really? In a bar??? Yes, really. Think of it as an oasis of sanity amidst the detritus of a once proud neighborhood. Inside, you’ll be met by Mary, the septuagenarian owner who is warm, welcoming, and exudes quiet dignity. Justin – the Gen Y owner, chef, entrepreneur, and guiding spirit behind the Crab Shack is the son of Mary’s partner. He used to hang out in the Regal when he was a kid – now he runs his own business there. He’s helpful and extremely friendly. Despite the odd surroundings, it’s a lovely vibe. While we were eating, Mary put John Cotrane’s rendition of “My Favorite Things” on the juke box. A huge plus in my book.
If you show up before 11:30 PM, in point of fact, things are likely to be quiet at the Regal. That’s when the shifts change at the nearby prisons, and the joint starts filling up with off-duty guards. But if you’re there at a normal dinner hour, you’ll likely experience quiet. And of course, Justin’s is open really, really late.
The food is cooked with care and attention to detail. The menu includes several varieties of fish (some fresh, some frozen, ask Justin to recommend what’s best), shrimp, crabs, scallops and lobster. Specials of the house include:
- The “Ultimate Twice Baked Potato” which includes shrimp, crab, and scallops and comes with broccoli
- A fried lobster Po Boy sandwich
- Soft-shell crab sandwich (in season)
- Seafood Mac & Cheese, served with broccoli, and your choice of Shrimp, Chicken, or Fish (header image).
Carnivores can get New York Strip or Rib Eye steaks, a BBQ Brisket sandwiches, as well as beef or turkey burgers or chicken wings.
Vegetarians can eat the regular Mac & Cheese, green vegetables (which are fresh and perfectly cooked al dente with a light touch of seasoning). When we were there, Justin was serving fresh asparagus or broccoli. They can also have a veggie burger, and an assortment of other side dishes.
Prices are reasonable for the quality.