After opening its Southfield location in late 2019, seafood boil startup Saucey Crab is branching out with a second location on the Northwest side of Detroit. The new outpost is set to open on Monday, January 18, in a space along Eight Mile Road.
Originally from Chicago, owner Angela White says she noticed there was a dearth of seafood boil options compared to the Windy City. “I didn’t see one here,” she says and suggested to her husband, Jonnie, they start offering seafood bags at their other business, Sauce Bar, in Detroit. In 2018, the bar’s “Seafood Wednesdays” turned out to be a big hit among the clientele and the husband-and-wife team developed a loyal following for the bags.
“We had 75 people a week, in and out [of the bar],” White says. “We couldn’t keep up. We did excellent over there.”
With the success of Seafood Wednesdays, White decided it was time to establish a restaurant dedicated to the hit seafood boils. The first Saucey Crab opened in October 2019 in Southfield.
Plans were already in the works to open the second location on Eight Mile before the pandemic hit in March, and, despite the current state of the industry, White is optimistic that business from the new spot will help the bottom line overall by reaching a new clientele. “Business has slowed down,” White acknowledges, describing the challenges of the since November when COVID-19 forced restaurants to close their doors to indoor dining for the second time in a year. She estimates that sales in Southfield are down about 50 percent. “We were doing excellent” before the shutdowns, White says. Carryout has helped the business stay afloat and they cut back on hours and staff, going from 14 to 6 people.
Nevertheless, seafood boils have adapted well as a takeout option during the pandemic. Bags at Saucey Crab range from $15 for black mussels and crawfish to $41 for king crab, and include corn, potatoes, and chicken sausage. The top seafood pick is shrimp, White says. Customers can then pick their flavor of sauce or spice, with choices like garlic butter, lemon pepper, Jerk seasoning, and Saucey Way — the restaurant’s signature sauce that’s a closely guarded secret. “I can’t tell you what’s in there,” White told Eater when we asked. Other dishes include the customer favorite gumbo (even more popular than the seafood, White says) and po’boys.
Diners can place orders online for pickup or carryout or order through DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats.
Saucey Crab is located at 21754 W. 11 Mile Road, Southfield in Southfield and 21639 Eight Mile Road in Detroit; hours at the Southfield location are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; Open noon to 9 p.m. in Detroit. Website.