Longtime seafood joint gets new skippers

Crab Louie's Seafood Tavern is 1352 Sycamore Square, off the Midlothian Turnpike. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern is at 1352 Sycamore Square. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

A Midlothian seafood staple is under new ownership.

Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern was sold in May by longtime owner Bruce Wilson to Brian and Marie Steele. The transaction was handled by Bruce Hobart of Sunbelt Business Brokers of Richmond. Neither Wilson nor Brian Steele would disclose financial specifics of the deal.

Crab Louie’s 3,600-square-foot space is at 1352 Sycamore Square. Developer Doug Woolfolk owns the building, which dates to 1745. The building housed two failed restaurants in the 1970s. Wilson had owned and operated Crab Louie’s since 1988.

“I haven’t had a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve off in the last 25 years,” said Wilson, who turned 60 this year. “It was just a good time to sell.”

The restaurant employs about 55 people, Wilson said. It serves a loyal lunch crowd that comes back for the eatery’s bread, relish, crab cakes and she-crab soup, he said.

The Steeles took over June 1. This is the couple’s first time owning a restaurant, Brian Steele said, but they aren’t strangers to the business. Steele said he has more than 30 years of food experience, starting with working at family-owned establishments in the 1980s and ’90s in Virginia Beach.

Steele said the couple has no big changes planned for the restaurant.

“Crab Louie’s is an institution. It’s been here for over 25 years. It does not need changing. Our job is to keep Crab Louie’s going as it is,” he said.

Steele said that he would tweak the menu a bit but that “my clientele would run me out of town if I changed the menu.”

Wilson is the second local seafood restaurant owner to call it quits in recent months. In June, Skilligalee owner Richard Stephenson announced that his restaurant would serve its last meal July 12 after more than 40 years in business.

For Wilson, the time was right and so was the buyer.

“When I first met Brian to discuss the possibility of selling the restaurant, I went home and told my wife that he reminded [of myself from] 25 years ago,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to pass it on to someone you have confidence in.”

Crab Louie's Seafood Tavern is 1352 Sycamore Square, off the Midlothian Turnpike. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern is at 1352 Sycamore Square. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

A Midlothian seafood staple is under new ownership.

Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern was sold in May by longtime owner Bruce Wilson to Brian and Marie Steele. The transaction was handled by Bruce Hobart of Sunbelt Business Brokers of Richmond. Neither Wilson nor Brian Steele would disclose financial specifics of the deal.

Crab Louie’s 3,600-square-foot space is at 1352 Sycamore Square. Developer Doug Woolfolk owns the building, which dates to 1745. The building housed two failed restaurants in the 1970s. Wilson had owned and operated Crab Louie’s since 1988.

“I haven’t had a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve off in the last 25 years,” said Wilson, who turned 60 this year. “It was just a good time to sell.”

The restaurant employs about 55 people, Wilson said. It serves a loyal lunch crowd that comes back for the eatery’s bread, relish, crab cakes and she-crab soup, he said.

The Steeles took over June 1. This is the couple’s first time owning a restaurant, Brian Steele said, but they aren’t strangers to the business. Steele said he has more than 30 years of food experience, starting with working at family-owned establishments in the 1980s and ’90s in Virginia Beach.

Steele said the couple has no big changes planned for the restaurant.

“Crab Louie’s is an institution. It’s been here for over 25 years. It does not need changing. Our job is to keep Crab Louie’s going as it is,” he said.

Steele said that he would tweak the menu a bit but that “my clientele would run me out of town if I changed the menu.”

Wilson is the second local seafood restaurant owner to call it quits in recent months. In June, Skilligalee owner Richard Stephenson announced that his restaurant would serve its last meal July 12 after more than 40 years in business.

For Wilson, the time was right and so was the buyer.

“When I first met Brian to discuss the possibility of selling the restaurant, I went home and told my wife that he reminded [of myself from] 25 years ago,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to pass it on to someone you have confidence in.”

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Carol
Carol
9 years ago

Not changing the menu is a big mistake – keep a few of the local yokel’s favs….but Gazpacho without oil, fresh grilled items, and smaller/less expensive portions esp. at lunch would be great!

Brian Steele
Brian Steele
9 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Thank you for your input Carol. We will definitely be reducing some portion sizes along with the price point for some of the lunch items. I believe you will really our new menu items along with daily / weekly featured offerings. I’m confident that some of our new features will become current menu staples going forward. Our fish selection is brought in fresh daily, so whether your cooking preference is grilled, broiled etc…..it’s always fresh and of the highest quality. Please ask for Marie or myself on your next visit to Crab Louie’s, we’re looking forward to meeting you. Thanks,… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
9 years ago

Always nice to see a local place like this stay open and get passed on to people who want to continue its tradition rather then it closing and being gone from the area.

Scott Hudson
Scott Hudson
9 years ago

Congratulations Bruce! So happy for you. I remember the day you bought Crab Louie’s – enjoy!