Joe's Stone Crab
Joe's Stone Crab, also known as Joe's Stone Crabs, is an American restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida. The restaurant was opened in 1913, by Joe Weiss, who began his Miami Beach career by cooking at Smith's Casino beginning in 1913. Joe's is the top buyer of Florida stone crab claws, and it plays a significant role in the industry, influencing the wholesale price and financing many crabbers.
Even though stone crabs are their most famous dish now, fish was served, rather than crabs, after the restaurant's opening. When an ichthyologist asked Weiss why he didn't serve stone crabs, he answered that no one would want to eat them. He turned out to be wrong, as they found out soon after first cooking them.
Joe's Stone Crab is often visited by politicians, actors, and athletes. It was featured in the 1985 film The Mean Season before its mid-1980s remodeling. The restaurant is reputedly referenced in Ian Fleming's novel "Goldfinger" as "Bill's on the Beach" in which James Bond ate the best meal he had ever eaten in his life. It was also in the comedy film Big Trouble starring Tim Allen.
In 1913, "Hungarian-born Joe Weiss" arrived in Miami Beach from New York hoping to relieve his asthma. Five years later, he opened up the "original Joe's Restaurant" in the front room of the bungalow he shared with his wife Jennie on Biscayne Street. In 1921, an icthyologist noticed the large number of stone crabs in the area and brought them to Joe to find out if they were edible. And as Patricia Schultz says, "And so an institution was born." Famous guests have included Al Capone, Frank Sinatra and Howard Cosell.
In 1999, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises became involved and opened a branch in Chicago, followed by the 2005 opening in Las Vegas, NV. These branches are known as "Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab" to set them apart from the 4th generation owned Miami original.,
Restaurant Business Magazine reported in October 2014 that Joe's Stone Crab ranked second in the nation in terms of revenue for 2013. The industry trade publication of record said the restaurant had $35.3 million in revenues in 2013. Only Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas ($64.6 million in revenues) ranked higher. Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., was third (with $26.7 million in revenues).
- South Beach, Florida
- Crabbers to Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant: Pay us more, Douglas Hanks and Rachel Morello, Miami Herald, 2013-10-16
- :: JOE's - History ::
- Schultz, Patricia: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Workman Publishing Inc., 2007, p. 316
- Clabaugh, Jeff (October 14, 2014). "Old Ebbitt Grill Among Top-Grossing Independent Restaurants". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved October 15, 2014.