Joe's Crab Shack

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Joe's Crab Shack
Wholly owned subsidiary
Founded1991; 29 years ago (1991) in Houston, Texas, United States
Houston, Texas
United States
OwnerLandry's, Inc.

Joe's Crab Shack is an American chain of beach-themed seafood casual dining restaurants. Founded in Houston, Texas, the restaurant now operates locations all across the United States of America.


A Joe's Crab Shack branch in San Diego, California. The building was initially a rowing club and was later converted into the restaurant.

Joe's Crab Shack opened its first location in Houston, Texas in 1991. Landry's Restaurants, Inc. purchased the original Joe's in Houston in early 1994 to convert it into a Landry's Restaurant. By 1995 the chain had grown to three locations in Houston and one in Dallas.[1]

On November 17, 2006, Joe's was sold to J.H. Whitney & Company, a privately held company, operating as JCS Holdings, LLC. The sales price was $192 million including the assumption of liabilities of $225 million.[2]

JCS Holdings changed their name to Ignite Restaurant Group in April 2009 and operated the 130 existing Joe's and 26 Brickhouse Tavern and Tap restaurants. Ignite Restaurant Group went public in 2012. [3] The company was headquartered on Westpark Drive near the Westchase District of Houston.[citation needed]

Ignite Restaurant Group filed for bankruptcy protection on June 6, 2017 and was re-acquired by Landry's, Inc. in August 2017 at bankruptcy auction for $57 million.[4][5][6]

In August 2017, the chain closed 40 locations in several states amid bankruptcy proceedings as Landry's prepared to take over.[7] Landry's has plans to re-focus the chain, and then to grow it again.

Photo controversy[edit]

In March 2016, the Joe's location in Roseville, MN was criticized for including a photo of the Texas execution by hanging of Joseph Burleson, a black man convicted of murder, as table decor. The photo included a cartoon bubble reading "All I said was that I didn't like the gumbo." The use of the photo was condemned by the NAACP and the City of Roseville. A spokesman for Joe's Crab Shack apologized.[8]This restaurant along with others has since been closed when Ignite Restaurant Group filed bankruptcy in 2017.[9]


  1. ^ Ruggless, Ron (June 12, 1995). "Landry's eyes Joe's Crab Shack as possible 2nd growth concept". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  2. ^ Fertitta, Tilman (October 10, 2006). "Landry's to unload Joe's Crab Shack eateries". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  3. ^ "Ignite Restaurant Feasts On $81 Million IPO Raise". Investor's Business Daily. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  4. ^ Witthaus, Jack (August 9, 2017). "Parent co. of Joe's Crab Shack back in hands of Tilman Fertitta". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia (August 18, 2017). "Court approves Landry's deal to buy Joe's Crab Shack parent co". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  6. ^ Licata, Elizabeth (August 19, 2017). "Joe's Crab Shack closes 41 restaurants without warning". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Cone, Allen (August 20, 2017). "Joe's Crab Shack abruptly closes 40 locations amid bankruptcy proceedings". UPI. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Joe's Crab Shack sorry for controversial picture". KARE. March 11, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Garcia, Arturo (March 22, 2018). "Was Joe's Crab Shack Criticized for Displaying a Picture of a Man Being Hanged?". Snopes. Retrieved June 9, 2019.

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