Blue Crab Juicy Seafood to open behind the Dayton Mall.

Why hasn’t there been any progress on that new seafood restaurant ‘coming soon’ behind the Dayton Mall? 

Growing chain is shifting its attention to former Max & Erma’s space now that its new location in Indy is open

***UPDATE (Aug. 19, 2019)***

The colorful and highly visible “Coming Soon” banner for Blue Crab Juicy Seafood restaurant and bar went up outside the restaurant space behind the Dayton Mall immediately after a lease was signed back in early April.

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But since then, there has been little activity at the space, mystifying passersby who were anxious to see the building spring back to life.

Now we know the reason behind the delay. 

Alex Wei, who oversees Blue Crab Juicy Seafood restaurants, told this news outlet via email that he was busy this summer getting another Blue Crab Juicy Seafood, this one in Indianapolis, up and running. That restaurant opened Aug. 10. 

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Wei said on the Indianapolis restaurant’s Facebook page that his construction crew is on its way to Dayton, and told this news outlet, “We will be in Dayton soon.”

The growing restaurant chain has or will have locations in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. A menu posted on the Indianapolis restaurant’s Facebook page shows a Cajun-inspired menu with multiple boiled or fried seafood options, including crab, shrimp, crawfish, mussels, oysters and catfish. 

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The Miami Twp. space at 8901 Kingsridge Drive that will be the future home of Blue Crab Juicy Seafood once housed Max & Erma’s, which was, in its heyday decades ago, one of the most popular hangouts in the Dayton area. Max & Erma’s closed the location in 2009, and more recently, two other restaurants, Hazel Grille & Tavern and Osaka Sushi & Hibachi, called the building home before Osaka shut down in 2016.

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***ORIGINAL STORY (April 15, 2019)***

A former Max & Erma’s restaurant that more recently was home to two other restaurants will soon be reborn as a seafood restaurant, according to a banner in front of the eatery.

“Blue Crab Juicy Seafood,” a restaurant with a full bar, is “coming soon” at 8901 Kingsridge Drive in Miami Twp., the banner in front of the building proclaims.

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This news outlet has reached out to the restaurant’s founder to get more information about Blue Crab Juicy Seafood. State records show articles of incorporation for “Blue Crab Juicy Seafood Inc.” were filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office less than two weeks ago by Yong Zhi Liu, who used the Kingsridge Drive business address as the company’s official location.

Skip Shafer of Commercial Realty Associates Inc., who is listing the property, said today that more information about the  new-restaurant venture would likely be available later this week. 

>> Restaurants in or near the Dayton Mall that have closed

For decades, the restaurant space housed a Max & Erma’s, which was, in its heyday, one of the most popular hangouts in the Dayton area. But Max & Erma’s closed the doors of that restaurant in 2009.

>> RELATED: Osaka Sushi shuts down behind the Dayton Mall (December 2016)

Hazel Grille & Tavern operated in the space for 15 months before shutting down in October 2014. About a year later, Osaka Sushi & Hibachi Buffet opened in the restaurant space, utilizing a distinctive “sushi conveyor” as part of its service concept. That restaurant shut its doors in December 2016.

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