New seafood restaurant now hiring, gearing up to open near the Dayton Mall

Blue Crab Juicy Seafood is now hiring and gearing up to open on Kingsridge Drive behind the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp.
Blue Crab Juicy Seafood is now hiring and gearing up to open on Kingsridge Drive behind the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp.

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

***UPDATE (Dec. 20, 2019)***

The Blue Crab Juicy Seafood restaurant coming to the former Max & Erma's space behind the Dayton Mall is now hiring and gearing up to open in the coming days.

The restaurant at 8901 Kingsridge Drive in Miami Twp. will seat about 230 and will employ 15 to 20, Alex Wei, who oversees Blue Crab Juicy Seafood restaurants, told this news outlet today.

>> Once homeless, this single mom has just launched her own restaurant

The small chain’s first Dayton-area restaurant is shooting to open in the coming days, possibly before the new year, Wei said.

Blue Crab Juicy Seafood is looking to hire servers. Those interested should apply in person at the restaurant, where managers are on site, Wei said.

>> Vintage root-beer maker embraces its Miami Valley roots as part of resurgence

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.

>> ALSO NEW TODAY: New steakhouse in the works along I-75 in Troy

The Kingsridge Drive space 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.

*** PREVIOUS 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.

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at the 9th Annual Beer Pride Parade?

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.

>> SAVE THE DATE: 'Pop-up party' planned in Oregon District next weekend

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.

>> Scientists create vaccine that could end cat allergies

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.

>> PHOTOS: What Kings Island's new 'giga-coaster' Orion will look like

***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.

>> TODAY: 500 free burritos and extended happy hour part of new Hot Head Cantina grand opening

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.

>> Golden eggs will be hidden all over downtown with huge prizes including a car, Disney trip

>> 93 sickened in salmonella outbreak; cut melon recalled

DID YOU KNOW THERE’S AN ELECTION MAY 7?: Find out what’s on your ballot in our voters guide

In Other News