A Clarksville, Tennessee (yes, Tennessee) boiled Cajun seafood restaurant is coming to Clarksville, Indiana – and that’s not the only coincidence. The Tennessee restaurant is on Lowes Drive, and the new Indiana restaurant opens June 27 (grand opening July 2) in the former Famous Dave’s building at 1360 Veteran’s Pky in front of Lowe’s hardware store.
Although the first Storming Crab’s restaurant in Tennessee has been open just over half a year, it’s been quite a success with “lines out the door,” according to co-owner Kevin Weng. One review on their site from customer Billy Jones says, “This place rocks like a hurricane! Staff was very helpful in explaining the menu and respectful. The food was mind blowing! Cajun Style Dining at it’s finest!”
It must be popular, because two more locations are opening in Nashville, Tennessee and Syracuse, Florida – totaling four locations in less than a year. Weng says there are a few reasons for the restaurant’s popularity.
“We’re serving a completely different type of concept, and there are not many people around these areas that do that,” he said. “Usually, you would see those type of restaurants down in the south along the coastline. We choose the top quality food to be served, and the price is not outrageous.”
Weng was born in Southeast China and moved to the United Sates when he was a teenager. He grew up and went to school with Storming Crab co-owner Sam Weng. Weng is a common name in China, and the two are not related. It feels like it to them, though. Their parents were close friends and owned Chinese restaurants where the two grew up working in the restaurants, managing them and then owning them. Kevin Weng owned his first Chinese restaurant when he was just 20-years-old, but the transition to Cajun food came out of a love for it.
Sam Weng moved to Lake Charles for three years and – when Kevin would visit – the two loved to visit mom and pop shops along the coastline that served boiled Cajun seafood.
“Most of those mom and pops had their own recipes on the board,” Kevin Weng explained. “We started coming up with our own secret recipes on the boil. We decided it would be good to have in middle America. It is pretty difficult to get seafood flown in, but it’s worth it and obviously people like it.”
The new location in Indiana has a max capacity of 160 and features a full-service bar in its own area, where only adults over 21 can enter due to Indiana law. But, Storming Crab is a family restaurant and Robert Jones – who is part of the management and training team – says Storming Crab is a “family corporation.” Each of the locations will be owned and operated by a family member who lives in the area. (Aden Lee will be the co-owner and general manager living in Indiana. )
Jones described the restaurant decor as “playful casual” and very similar to their Tennessee location, with lots of “logs and rope.” The focus of their popularity, though, is on the food. According to Jones, “It will be the best Cajun seafood they [guests] have tasted outside of Louisiana. ”
The menu includes appetizers you’d expect to find at a seafood restaurant like hush puppies, fried mozzarella sticks or onion rings and extends to fried okra and chicken wings (Cajun, lemon pepper, or barbecue). It also includes something called “seafood bread” (crab meat with mayonnaise and seasonings laid on top of french loaf).
The platter menu offers quite a mix. Platters are combinations of dishes like lobster, clams, crawfish, sausage, red potato and corn or Dungeness crab, shrimp, clams, sausage, red potato and corn.
Side items include Cajun favorites like gumbo, crawfish etoufee with rice and red potatoes or corn on the cob, and desserts include various ice cream or cake options, including an interesting take mochi cake with green tea, red beans or mixed fruit.
You can order your dishes without seasoning or with Crab House Cajun or Garlic Butter flavoring and mild, medium or hot spiciness levels. See the full menu here.
The restaurant will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They will remain open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.