The Crab Shack has come a loooong way!
First, the business was Coach's Bar & Grille, a sports bar at the edge of town. Then, it decided to go another route and replaced the "Bar & Grille" with a seafood theme - Coach's Crab Shack. That business seemed to do well, so they expanded over to Cheat Lake. That only makes sense for a seafood restaurant, right? With that move, they dropped the "Coach's" name -- doesn't really fit anymore, right? -- and became Crab Shack Caribba (on the lake). SO, that restaurant seems to be doing well, so they moved the original location from the edge of town over to a very prominent location - in Suncrest Towne Centre. And, it changed its name to Crab Shack Caribba, as well. So, two locations: Suncrest and Cheat Lake.
We opened our doors back in June 2013 on Collins Ferry Rd in Star City as Coach’s Crab Shack; named after the former Coach’s Sports Bar in the same location. In May 2016, we went through a little re-branding with our logo and name.
The Suncrest location is brand new, so I went to check it out with Brittany. Situated right on the corner, it's easy to find (unlike the Collins Ferry location) with plenty of parking! It doesn't have the beautiful space overlooking the lake, but it is like a mile from my place ... so, same thing.
Walking in, the large tiki bar is the focal point. Booths surround that central bar, with paper table covers, Corona salt & pepper shakes, and a mason jar full of utensils. They're definitely going for that Caribbean theme with the extra decorations and other bits and pieces.
The menu has lots of goodies that I'd like to sample - appetizers like "The Crabby Crab Dip" and coconut shrimp. Plenty of fish dishes, pastas, steak and chicken, too, as well as the raw bar. Their "Signature Steamers" are essentially a plate full of seafood with melted butter, corn on the cob, red potatoes and hush puppies. You can get lobster, shrimp, crab, mussels, clams, crawfish or you can mix-and-match via the a la carte menu.
Crab Shack Caribba serves everything we offered on the Coach’s menu; however, the new menu now also offers dishes with Caribbean influences. Jerk chicken and shrimp, fried plantains, and a Spanish Caribbean Paella dish, just to name a few.So, I went with the "Shack Classic," which had 1/2 lb. Snow Crab, 1/3 lb. shrimp, 1/2 lb. clams and kielbasa, in addition to all those sides. You can also choose your "flavor" - Hot Mess Garlicky 'N Juicy (garlic butter, old bay, cajun spice), Spicy Cajun, Old Bay, Garlic & Herb Lemon Butter or Good Ole Steam. I went with the hot mess, because of course.
Brittany got a house salad to start, and it may have been the tiniest salad I've ever seen. At least it was fresh.
So, it's definitely a weird experience to get your entree served in a plastic bag, but hell if it's not tasty. And, in full disclosure, I may have dove into this mass of food before taking a picture. And at that point, my hands and mouth were covered in garlicky goodness that I didn't want to stop to take a photo. But, don't worry, I did.
Our seafood comes from all around the country, gets flown into Pittsburgh and then trucked into Morgantown three days a week.So, I cracked the legs to get giant pieces of meat (though I wish I had a better digger utensil), devoured those kielbasa and potatoes, peeled shrimp and reveled in the slightly spicy and garlicky juice. So tasty. Plan to get a little messy and take advantage of that bib they give you. But, if you need your seafood fix, this is the place in Morgantown.
We put in a lot of effort to bring the freshest, highest quality seafood products at the best value possible for our patrons. Blue Crabs from Maryland, Crawfish from Louisiana, Snow Crab from Alaska, Oysters from James River, Virginia, Lobsters from Maine, Salmon from Norway, Peruvian Scallops….With a meal this good, how could I not get dessert? I went for the "Ice Cream Sunday," which has deep-fried brownie bites with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate topping, whipped cream and a cherry. I think they must freeze the ice cream in the glass because it was SO difficult to get out. BUT, it was tasty. The brownie bits weren't my favorite part, but ice cream. Always ice cream.
They were just opening, so service is something that needs a tiny bit of work. The portion of that salad was comical, but the space is lovely, the food is tasty and I'm pleased to see this restaurant doing well and filling a void in town. You're not living til you try the hot garlicky mess.