Joe's Crab Shack, a part of the Wilmington Riverfront for 17 years, has permanently closed.
The website for the eatery at 600 S. Madison St. is no longer operating, and no one answered the phone Tuesday afternoon.
The Delaware location is not listed anymore among the restaurants owned by Landry’s Inc. The Houston, Texas-based company operates the seafood chain and more than 600 properties, including brands such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton's The Steakhouse and McCormick & Schmick's.
A spokeswoman for the company reached Tuesday was checking on the reason for the closing.
The 9,000-square-foot Delaware seafood restaurant opened in February 2003 on the site of the former Sardo Warehouse next to what was the then-operating Kahunaville nightclub.
According to 1992 News Journal archives, the Riverfront Development Corp. leased the land to Landry's for 20 years with the option to extend it for five years, or to buy it.
Joe's Crab Shack was an important part of the emerging Riverfront when it opened. It was soon followed by two other restaurants: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant and Harry's Seafood Grill, which is now Banks' Seafood Kitchen. Both are still operating takeout services since dine-in services in Delaware were halted by Gov. John Carney in mid-March due to COVID-19.
Joe's, a casual, family-friendly restaurant, overlooking the Christina River, featured a deck and outdoor children’s play area. It had a seating capacity for about 200 people inside and another 100 on the deck.
The restaurant was known for its Dungeness crab, snow crab and king crab.
The $899 billion restaurant industry has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, more than 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed, and the industry will lose $80 billion in sales by the end of April, according to the National Restaurant Association.