On Friday, October 15, Joe’s Stone Crab opens for its 108th season around the Sun.
The Miami Beach restaurant, which has existed longer than the city where it lives, opens for dinner at 6 p.m. 17:00 sharply, while the bar opens at. 16.00 for people who want to get a leg to secure a table (and a drink while they wait).
The opening naturally coincides with the official start of the season for rock crabs 2021-22. Stephen Sawitz, CEO of Joe’s (and the great-grandson of the restaurant’s founder) is looking forward to a lot of claws. “We’re bullish on this year’s season,” Sawitz says. “Of course we never know before opening day what we’ll get, but first feedback looks promising and we’re always entering our new seasons hopeful and excited to see the first catch.”
Sawitz says that instead of a new menu or new cocktails, the best thing he can do for loyal patrons is to serve them a “big piece of normal.” This means that while many of last year’s COVID precautions will remain in place – including improved cleaning and encouraged social distance – the process will be less “visible and intrusive” to the experience of eating at Joe’s. “We are committed to making our patrons feel safe, secure and normal by providing the great food and service they have come to know and trust in 108 seasons,” Sawitz said.
Although Joe’s has added some tables and seating that were lost last season, it will remain at below capacity. In addition, the restaurant will also accept a limited number of table reservations at night via resy.com – a policy that was implemented for the first time in Joe’s history last year during the height of the pandemic to help with social distance.
And with all the new faces that have moved to Miami in the last few months, there may actually be some newcomers to Joe’s.
Sawitz has some advice for anyone starting out: “New guests should come knowing that there is something for everyone on the menu.”
Translation: Joe’s serves a large selection of seafood dishes along with aged USDA Prime steaks. And of course Joe’s famous fried chicken – a coup of almost nine kroner an order.
A trip to Joe’s would not be complete without opening some cute rock crab claws. Sawitz suggests that you take the time to enjoy them.
“Each server is ready to show guests how to eat rock crabs, so don’t be shy about asking for a quick tutorial on the delicacy,” suggests Joe’s director.
If you’re still careful about eating in, Joe’s Take Away, located right next door, serves the same rock crabs to go. Order claws and sides and take them a block to the beach for the ultimate social remote picnic.
Joe’s Stone Crab. 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-0365; joesstonecrab.com. Opens for the season Friday, October 15 for dinner from 5pm to 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 5pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday. Open for lunch from Saturday, October 16 from 11:30 to 14:30 and then Thursday to Sunday (closed for lunch Monday to Wednesday). Joe’s Takeaway is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday).