Jefferson City Restaurant Saved
Eating dinner for two at the Cracked Crab this month wouldn't have been possible without Dean Lawrence.
"Met most of the patrons, the clientel and staff here, and just fell in love with the place," he said.
But it was a different scene a few weeks ago. The restaurant closed its doors Nov. 30, but not before Lawrence came in one final time for drinks. He was sitting at the bar when he said something the crowd wouldn't let him forget.
"Just made a kind of off-the-cuff remark that I'd love to own a restaurant again sometime," Lawrence said. "And the previous owner called me the next morning and asked me if I was serious. I said, 'Well, maybe.' We negotiated from there and I ended up buying it a couple of days later."
Assistant Manager Doris Gruner said, "It was really funny, watching Dean sitting at the bar, and when word got out that he was a potential buyer, all of a sudden employees were going to him and crying 'Thank you, thank you, thank you!' And a lot of the regular customers would go up to him and tell him, 'You know, we've been coming here forever.'"
The Crab was closed for about a week to make some changes, then celebrated its reopening on Monday, eager to welcome new customers, but thrilled to be serving its most familiar faces.
But, Lawrence isn't quitting his day job as a financial advisor. He says the Crab is his new hobby.