CLEARWATER BEACH (FOX 13) - After deciding the current building wasn't up to their standards, owners of Crabby Bills in Clearwater Beach decided to close for demolition and rebuilding May 15.
The decision came after the City of Clearwater approved the restaurant to fulfill a 30 year lease. The process led developers to the decision to temporarily close for a full re-do of the restaurant. It will reopen in March 2017.
Renderings of a new building show a three story structure with a second floor inside dining room, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a rooftop dining area, equipped with a large bar and 360 degree views of Clearwater Beach.
In a release to the media, developers acknowledged the building set for demolition, at 37 Causeway Blvd., holds fond memories for long-time visitors and locals in the Clearwater Beach area. The building housed many different businesses in its time; a gas station in the 1970s, Clearwater Beach Seafood in the 1980s, Crazy Bill's in the late 1990s, and Crabby Bill's Clearwater Beach since July 2000.
"It's almost like losing a piece of yourself," said Stacy Braman, who has been an employee of Crabby Bill's for over 15 years, and a server at Crabby Bill's Clearwater Beach for 11 years. "It's sad to know that these walls, you've called home for so long, won't be here in a month, but it's exciting knowing that when we re-open, it's going to be something amazing, and I know it's going to be worth all the time and effort."