Article and Photography by Will Martin | Owl Staff

Before you start planning vacations this summer, you can have an early taste of the seaside! Located in Abingdon, Joe’s Crab Shack has existed long before coming to the neighborhood, but continues to serve great seafood and service whilst proudly displaying their motto on employees’ shirts: “Peace, Love & Crabs.”

Joe’s maintains a warm, laid-back yet exciting environment reminiscent of an afternoon on a boardwalk or an evening spent overseeing the ocean on a beachfront pier.

The restaurant is divided into three eating areas large enough for celebrations and get- togethers. One is an open-air outdoor patio while the indoor areas are decorated simplistically but should feel comfortable to beachgoers.

The menu is simple but savory; I most recently enjoyed one of Joe’s delicious signature Steam pot entrées, snow crab clusters flavored with traditional Old Bay seasoning.

The dish also includes one-pound clams, smoked sausage and a fresh, Old Bay-laden ear of corn. Other dishes include everything from chowder and shellfish to burgers, fish combo platters, and the occasional steak almost all at prices ranging from $9.99 to $29.99.

Beyond dining, the chain obviously cares very much about entertaining a younger audience. There is a tiny gift shop just past the front door selling a variety of t-shirts licensed under the restaurant brand, and a playground setup out back.

So, if you feel like a family night out with the look and feel of a far-off vacation spot, Joe’s Crab Shack is just the place.

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