If you want one last chance to get your Joe's Stone Crab fix, make plans to visit the century-old Miami Beach icon this weekend, because Joe's Stone Crab will close for the season after service this Saturday, July 29.
No need to mourn, though: Joe's Take Away will operate through the summer.
"We want to keep the light on," owner Stephen Sawitz says. "Our locals keep asking us why we don't stay open year-round. The other thing is when you close for four and a half months, it's hard to get our employees back.
Think of it as a preseason to Joe's comeback in October, Sawitz says. "We feel like it's the rehearsal of the main event of Joe's opening for stone crab season."
Joe's Stone Crab is actually older than the city it calls home. Joseph Weiss moved from New York to Miami in 1913 after a doctor told him that a change of climate would do his asthma good. Weiss then opened a lunch stand close to the beach two years before Miami Beach was incorporated in 1915. That lunch stand evolved into the beloved Joe's Stone Crab.
The restaurant has remained in the family, serving seafood, fried chicken, and its famous stone crab claws to everyone from Frank Sinatra and Al Capone to Gail Simmons and Martha Stewart.
Joe's will be open through Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. at the bar and 6 p.m. in the dining room. As always, the restaurant takes no reservations, so grab a cocktail and prepare to wait. It's worth it.
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Then, Joe's Take Away will open August 1.
"We're bridging the gap," Sawitz says. "There's viability, there's life, there's employment, and there's a good reason to be back in Miami in August. You get somewhat of a Joe's experience, but it's the take-away instead."
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Joe's closing date. The restaurant will close Sunday, July 29, not Saturday, July 28.
Joe's Stone Crab. 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-0365; joesstonecrab.com. Joe's Take Away will reopen August 1.