Tucson is about to get its first Louisiana crab boil restaurant, a lively style of Cajun cooking where servers bring out plastic bags of seafood that you rip open at the table.
The small chain Angry Crab Shack will open its first location outside of the Phoenix area later this summer. Co-owner Daniel Sevilla says the business is moving into the building that once held Las Cazuelitas at Grant Road and the I-10 freeway. The spot should open at 1365 W Grant Road in August or early September.
Angry Crab Shack currently boasts six locations in Phoenix, Mesa, Peoria and more. The Tucson restaurant will feature the same ambience and menu as those up north: Patrons order their seafood items by the pound, then customize the bags with different sauces and heat levels like Angry Ghost and Scorching Scorpion. Bibs aren't required, but you're gonna want one ...
"For people that haven't been there, it brings a really fun dining experience," Sevilla said. "Everything is basically head on: You peel and eat shrimp, you crack the crab, live lobsters, Dungeness crab. It's a lot of seafood you don't normally see."
The co-owner of the three-year old company says he was inspired by his trips to New Orleans, where people hold "low-country crab boils" in their backyards. When the former restaurant consultant moved to Phoenix from Los Angeles, he realized there was a lack of casual fresh seafood restaurants there.
For this location, Sevilla decided to enlist the help of a local franchisee Mark Guevara. If all goes well by next year Sevilla is hoping to expand across the country in cities like Atlanta and Chicago.
The Tucson location will have a full bar with Southern cocktails like the famous New Orleans Hurricane, as well as local craft beers from Barrio Brewing Co. and Dragoon Brewing Co. Seafoods like crawfish, clams and blue crab will be sourced from Trident Seafoods, while the creative hot sauces will come from a Phoenix operation Sonoran Spice Company. All food waste will be sent to a program called Recycle City that turns it into compost for community gardens.
"Restaurants usually create all this waste," Sevilla said. "We're trying to make sure we're changing the whole mindset, and making sure we're responsible."