Seafood lovers in Springfield might be in a pinch.
Shaking Crab in downtown Springfield is permanently closed as of November — the seafood restaurant quietly updated its Facebook hours to the official statement “last Tuesday,” it read on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
The restaurant had opened on June 2, 2022 at 1373 Main St., a space formerly occupied by JT’s Sports Pub which closed in 2014 after 11 months. JT’s owner tried to sell the business, but said his landlord signaled the $5,000 monthly rent would increase, which scared away buyers.
Shaking Crab’s first location opened in 2015 in Newton, and it’s since expanded to at least 15 restaurants worldwide. Its Cajun menu features king crab legs, shrimp, mussels, lobsters and more, and the chain is especially known for hefty bags of boiled seafood, potatoes and corn shaken in signature sauces.
The Springfield location was active on Facebook since its opening, posting in October 2022 about lobster cheesy fries, the jumbo seafood galore tray, Halloween specials and live music. The Downtown restaurant advertised more live music shows with holiday themes into November and December last year.
But more than six months after opening day, Shaking Crab announced it would be “temporarily closed until further notice,” and apologized “for the inconvenience” on its Instagram page Jan. 31.
Whether the crabs would ever shake again in Springfield had been uncertain since.
MassLive attempted to contact Springfield owners and of the overall chain, including every other location in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, numerous times over the past 10 months with no response.
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It wasn’t until mid-November when the sign at the Springfield location — the large, purposefully crooked “shaking” letters spelling “Shaking Crab” next to a crab claw, laid over a glossy maroon background — was removed.
Shaking Crab has not responded to MassLive about the sign’s removal and Facebook post.
Jackey Zhao, one of the Springfield owners, told MassLive when the restaurant opened in June that he’d had high hopes for its success.
“Long term, I want to thrive,” he’d said previously. “We’re pretty much the only one in the area that has this extent of seafood. I’m hoping, you know, seafood lovers come in, have some great seafood, have a drink, have fun all in this one place.”
“There’s a great community here so we’re hoping regulars will start to come and we can make some friends,” he added.