WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A restaurant wanting to build at Johnnie Mercer's Pier is causing some controversy among Wrightsville Beach residents and business owners.
Joe's Crab Shack is looking to build on Salisbury street near the pier. Neighbors are concerned it will make the lack of parking in the area even worse.
The chain wants to build a restaurant big enough to hold 270 people. All restaurants on the beach are required to provide one parking space for every four seats they hold. This means Joe's Crab Shack would have to offer an additional 85 spaces for patrons In a place were space is already limited.
"That will be a big deal. A real big deal," beach visitor Otis Battle said. "Hopefully they'll add on what they need to add on for the parking, so that it will really accommodate everyone that comes down to the beach."
Joe's Crab Shack has leased 35 off-site parking spaces, according to town records. Twenty-five are at the Landfall Shopping Center at Eastwood Road and Military Cutoff Road. Ten more are at Kohl's Department Store near Eastwood and College Road.
Joe's Crab Shack has not returned our call for comment.
The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen will discuss the parking issue at their meeting Thursday night.