The Original Crab Shack


The tide was high. The river was calm. A haze of fog covered an almost full moon, and a gentle breeze stirred the air. For atmosphere, it couldn’t have been more poetic. It was the kind of twilight-into-dusk that only the Crab Shack could order up, if indeed the Crab Shack could order up such things. It was the kind of evening anyone in their right mind would savor. 23 years ago, The Crab Shack got its start as the natural outgrowth of a fish camp and small boat marina. Jack Flanigan opened up his tin roofed, screened porch for a few basic steamed seafood dishes and posted a sign: “Shirt and shoes not required.” A little later, the Crab Shack posted another sign: “Where the elite eat in their bare feet.” With a huge open deck underneath tiny, twinkling lights woven into the branches of Spanish moss-draped oak trees, the Crab Shack offers a continual party atmosphere. Fans stir a breeze when none is present—but if there is any breeze around; it seeks out the bend of Chimney Creek, where the Crab Shack is located. For less than perfect weather, or if there’s a chill in the air, giant blowers send air (or heat) into the Party Shack and Gator Deck, which offer almost as much ambience but with screened-in protection. Dining in the winter is possible and comfortable since the Crab Shack is heated during those times. To handle dining in the rough, a hole in the center of the table provides trash disposal, and your own individual roll of paper towels is at the table ready. It’s a step above newspaper as tablecloths. A small sink is nearby when your hands go beyond the paper towels. The menu remains simple and is limited mainly to seafood, but within those limits you can order homemade Shack Crab Stew or clam chowder - all the way to an excellent key lime pie. If you’re really in a mood to linger, order the Crab Shack Sampler—snow crab, red rock crab, steamed shrimp, crawfish, mussels, sausage, potato and corn (just about everything the Crab Shack has, except oysters, clams, king crabs and stone crabs- those you order individually). This dish is ordered for two, three or four. Your sampler platter is placed in the center of the table on an elevated rack. The Crab Shack has recently expanded their menu and now offers barbecue ribs and chicken. Be sure to ask for Barabbas’ Bahamian Jerk sauce with any BBQ or chicken you order! In addition to the regular menu, there are $7.99 lunch specials served until 3 p.m. daily. The newest addition to the Crab Shack is the “Gator Deck.” Everyone will enjoy the “Gator Lagoon,” an alligator lagoon providing safe interaction with alligators. The exhibit was established and is maintained as an educational exhibit. Children and adults can offer “gator treats” affixed to the end of a line attached to a cane pole to the one-year-old alligators. Specially trained attendants are ready to answer questions and offer interesting “gator” facts. If alligators aren’t your style, visit the gift shop for a peek at their many exotic birds: Otis, Bonnie and Baby—the Macaws; Gilbert—the Cockatoo; Sasha and Michael—the African Grey Parrots; Hansel and Gretel—the Yellow-Tipped Amazons; Doobie—the Blue Frosted Amazon Parrot; and a pair of peach-faced lovebirds. The Crab Shack is open year round, closed only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Crab Shack is located on Tybee Island. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and until 11 p.m. on the weekends. Reservations are not accepted or required, unless your group is larger than 30 guests. You may find more information by calling 1-866-789-CRAB, visiting or visiting "The Official Crab Shack" page on Facebook.

Additional Information

What makes this business unique? Where the elite eat in their bare feet


40 Estill Hammock Road
Tybee Island, Georgia 31328
United States

Tybee Island

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  • View, Waterfront Dining


Sun 11:30 am - 9:00 pm Mon 11:30 am - 9:00 pm Tue 11:30 am - 9:00 pm Wed 11:30 am - 9:00 pm Thurs 11:30 am - 9:00 pm Fri 11:30 am - 10:00 pm Sat 11:30 am - 10:00 pm

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(912) 786-9857

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