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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.

Comment on this Story

  • WBLocal

    They need the parking at Landfall because none of their workers will have anywhere to park. I bet they are planning on using these spaces for the workers not the guests. They should move into the old Main Street restaurant at Mayfaire. That way they have ample parking and people will actully go there in the winter. The pier could do so much more when it comes to food, but Joes Crab Shak is a step in the wrong directions. Sad…

  • jj

    With all the local fresh seafood we have around the area, why would you want frozen food. When I travel the last place I want to eat at is a chain restaurant.

    But to each their own. Need to start building parking desks like Wilmington has. One on each corner of the street.

  • T. W. Duke

    New employment for UNCW grads! Combined with that Marine Biology degree a job at Fishy Joe’s (or whatever) is like a slam dunk for the community! Now tourists don’t have to leave WB to find a place to fill their guts with booze and poorly prepared food… they barf beer and various sea-bug guts all over Wrightsville beach! I’m so glad I don’t live there!

    T.W. Duke

  • Guest Reply

    Have a “Drive Thru” (ONLY) at Joe’s…with a 50 cent entrance fee, so WB can make $$$ on the non-parkers…then split it with Joe’s! Truth be known…Joe’s would get 10% most likely…4% after WB taxes :-(
    No parking issues at all…no Muss…no Fuss = No Fuss from the lack of Muss!!!
    That will be 5 Bucks WB/Joe’s for my solution to you and your loved ones :-)
    Jeez Louise…why couldn’t they have thunk of it????
    Truth is…they will make a statement where they had already thought of that…but decided it wouldn’t work. Then…next year…they will implement the idea…and I will be outta 5 Bucks! Just like any Suggestion Program at any place of business you may work at with a Suggestion Program.
    I just had to throw that one in :-)

  • Guest Tigercat

    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.”

    You must be one of Paul Ryan/Mitt Rommney follwers coz the math dont add up.
    270 people seats divided by 4 equals about 68 parking spaces, not 85 as you quoted

  • thinking

    Why add to Wrightsville Beach? It is already over crowded. Put it in Mayfaire shopping center. It will get more business there!

  • Guest Reply

    Well said “thinking”. Your thoughts echo why the statement is quoted below from the article:
    “Joe’s Crab Shack has not returned our call for comment.” (Unquote)
    Some more modern beaches have shuttle services to designated areas/stops on their beaches for their…”to and fro” transportation.
    Sure would unclog the clog over there…but what would they do about parking meters just sitting empty due to a shuttle service? Don’t worry WB…they will get filled.

  • Elroyface

    A crab shack on the beach is a lot more fun than one in an asphalt parking lot.

  • Vog46

    But it would be less damaged by hurricanes.
    Mayfaire is the new down town.
    Joe’s would make it even more so.
    An outparcel of Mayfaire makes much more sense.
    Plenty of FREE parking (get it down town? Wrightsville beach too?)
    People living within walking distance.

    Its not on a parade route so Scott Pickey could come and go as he pleases…….
    (Sorry Scott it just ‘came to me’)


  • RSimmons

    I’m trying to grasp how having 35 parking spaces 4 miles away helps relieve parking at the pier? Works for me though, I would rather they sell their over cooked/over priced corporate food somewhere that I don’t go.

  • Das Weibstück

    Sooooo we have to park at Landfall and what, take a shuttle bus to the restaurant? Why are they leasing parking 5 miles away? LOL Open at Mayfaire, makes way more sense.

  • Guest CommonTater

    I agree that parking may indeed be a big deal. I will leave it to the folks “studying” the issue but it looks “iffy” to me.

    At any rate it’s at WB. I don’t go there anymore because of parking and haven’t in many years. I wish this business was going to be located elsewhere so I could try it but alas…. I will not go to WB.

  • JML

    has an empty spot at the old O’Charlies. Right behind my house! Yesss!

  • Guest7969

    think someone needs to do a little research and find out how WB works. A crab shack at WB will be an ABYSMAL FAILURE! I would give it 18 months TOPS before they bail!

    A BETTER idea would to be put it at Mayfair where there’s some actual parking…VERY FEW people go to WB to shop, but plenty of people go to Mayfair!…Someone hasn’t done enough research on locations!

  • ChefnSurf

    Only one license plate on the shuttle bus to be scanned. No way to run background checks on everyone on the bus. Terrorists, parking scofflaws, those who did poorly on high school civics exams and those with potential irregularity problems will slip through the “WB Ace 2000 Super Checker License Plate System” unchecked. WB’s residential elite will become contaminated by the proletariat.

    WB, as it is today, will be doomed.

  • Guestwho

    Joe’s is scwag chain resuarant, it doesn’t belong at any of our beaches. This is a big lose-lose situation. Less parking and an uglier beach. I wish the BOA would rethink this one.

  • Dave28480

    I personally think it’s a good idea because as the pier is now it’s not being used to it’s full potential. There’s no reason why that place shouldn’t be packed or at least semi filled every evening……..Oh, I know why now…..there are no cooks there in the afternnon/evening. Heck, it’s lucky if there is even food there. It’s not managed as a food service business should be. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not knocking the owner, because food management is a whole different animal than management in general. I would really like to see something blossom out of that location and I think the company that has done this numerous times beofre has the know how to do it and do it right. Give em a chance at least. If they fail then we go back to the same ole same ole. If not, it may just give that area a kick in the butt and make some other things happen.

  • Guest Tigercat

    After seeing many ads on a local tv station for Joes Crab Shack
    I did a little research as to locations and comments by past customers.
    If one is tempted to visit a Joe’s, I would highly suggest you read
    comments made by past customers.
    Most of them say the food is way over priced and the quality is not that great. Even others say since its a family resturant there were always
    crowds of screaming small kids (Joes has a playground for kids so more come than usual) Take them to macky d’s or upchucky cheese so the adults
    can eat in peace


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