I seem to remember one in South Plainfield. Pretty sure there was one in Edison at one point. West Orange too.

There were definitely a lot more Joe’s Crab Shacks not terribly long ago both in New Jersey and around the country. At one point they were operating 130 of them nationally. Now they’re down to only 29.

But here in New Jersey the very last Joe’s is closing down leaving none in the Garden State. Another restaurant chain in Jersey’s dustbin of history.

Susan Vineyard
Susan Vineyard

They weren’t without controversy in America. In March 2016, a Joe's location in Roseville, MN came under fire for including a photo of the Texas execution by hanging of Joseph Burleson, a black man, as table decor.

The photo included a cartoon bubble reading "All I said was that I didn't like the gumbo." The use of the photo was condemned by the NAACP and the City of Roseville. A spokesman for Joe's Crab Shack apologized.

But that’s not what did the chain in. It was a lot of things. There was a restructuring. There was a bankruptcy. Then Covid hit.


The pandemic brought hard financial times on Joe’s Crab Shacks across the country and here in New Jersey. By the end of last year the second to last Joe’s in New Jersey, their Clifton location, closed very abruptly. It took even employees by surprise. That left only the Deptford location.

Now, that final location in Deptford has announced it is closing its doors forever on May 26. Joe’s Crab Shack COO Terry Turney said in a statement:

Due to a natural lease expiration, Joe’s Crab Shack located at 2000 Clements Bridge Road in Deptford, NJ will close its doors on May 26, 2024... We thank the community for the many years of support. We value our employees, their dedication to our company, and are working to relocate them to our sister locations nearby.

Of course those sister locations will be in other states, so good luck with that.

Sad news adding Joe’s Crab Shack to the ever-growing list of restaurant chains that have left New Jersey.

Chi-Chi’s. Ground Round. Bennigan’s. Gino’s. So many others. It’s enough to make you want to stop off at Sears and buy some tissues for a good nostalgic cry.

Oh wait.

Sears To Close Their Last Store In New York City
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Restaurants that closed in New Jersey During 2023

Here are some of the restaurants that closed their doors around New Jersey in 2023 listed alphabetically. Did your favorite restaurant close in 2023? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

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