Joe's Crab Shack

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Joe's Crab Shack
Wholly-owned subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1991; 26 years ago (1991) in Houston, Texas, United States
Headquarters Westchase District, Houston, Texas, United States
Owner Ignite Restaurant Group

Joe's Crab Shack is an American chain of beach-themed seafood casual dining restaurants owned by Ignite Restaurant Group (NASDAQIRG). Founded in Houston, Texas, the restaurant now operates locations all across the United States of America. It serves seafood and American cuisine. The restaurants also have a gift shop that sells T-shirts featuring phrases advertising Joe's seafood choices. It is based in Houston.[1]


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.[2]

Today the brand includes a national chain featuring a festive but laid-back atmosphere. Many of the locations are on waterfront property with large patio seating areas, built to resemble an old beachfront property. Many include family friendly features such as a playground and an arcade in a few locations.

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.[3]

JCS Holdings changed their name to Ignite Restaurant Group in April 2009 and still operates the 130 existing Joe's and 26 Brickhouse Tavern and Tap restaurants. Ignite Restaurant Group went public in 2012.[4] The company is currently headquartered on Westpark Drive near the Westchase District of Houston.[5]

As of January 2014, Joe's has a total of 138 restaurants located in 35 states. The state with the highest number of locations is Texas, which has 28 current ones.[6]

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, among others. A spokesman for Joe's Crab Shack apologized.[7]


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