Thirty years of cracking Dungeness crab in South Lake Union come to an end in September when Chandler’s Crabhouse (901 Fairview Ave. N) closes due to Vulcan’s redevelopment of its lakefront property. Chandler’s last day in business is September 30.
The seafood staple, which serves eight varieties of crab seasonally and 20 different crab dishes from half-pound crab cakes to crab-stuffed shrimp, was founded in 1988 by Schwartz Brothers Restaurants, which also owns three Daniel’s Broiler restaurants. Those are in Leschi, Bellevue, and right next door to Chandler’s at 809 Fairview Pl. N, which is not affected by the redevelopment at this time.
Unfortunately for fans, Chandler’s has no plans to relocate or reopen once the redevelopment is complete, though anything could happen.
“We haven’t ruled out the possibility of [reopening] once [the property is] redeveloped, there’s just a lot of uncertainty around when that will happen — I think we’re talking years down the road, it’s hard to really make any kind of plans when you don’t know,” says Schwartz Brothers president Lindsey Schwartz. But he wanted to make the announcement now while there are still a few months left to celebrate a strong legacy. “We’re really proud we had a 30-year run, not a lot of restaurants do that, and our team members should be proud.”
“The other part is we’re really focused on growing our other concept, Daniel’s Broiler: That’s where we’re putting our time and energy, looking for more locations for Daniel’s,” Schwartz says. An announcement about a new Daniel’s location is imminent.
Meanwhile, all Chandler’s employees have been offered opportunities to switch to Daniel’s restaurants. “It’s also not easy to find good team members these days, so we want to utilize the good people we have at Chandler’s and redeploy them at different Daniel’s locations as that concept grows for us.”
To celebrate, Chandler’s Crabhouse has been hosting wine dinners this summer, sometimes featuring former employees. The final dinner in the series is August 9 with Coral Wines’ winemaker and advanced sommelier, Christopher Chan, a former Chandler’s bartender. More special events may yet be revealed.
Duke’s Seafood and Chowder announced in February that it would move its South Lake Union location from 901 Fairview Ave. N to 1111 Fairview Ave N in light of the Vulcan redevelopment. It’s not clear yet what plans El Chupacabra has for its restaurant in the Vulcan property, and El Chupacabra had not responded by press time to a request for comment.
Update and correction: July 9, 2018, 12:00 p.m.
This article was updated to include comments from Lindsey Schwartz, president of Schwartz Brothers Restaurants. It was also corrected to reflect prior reporting by Eater that Duke’s is moving its South Lake Union location from 901 Fairview Ave N to 1111 Fairview Ave N.
Correction: July 9, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
This article was updated with the proper spelling of Lindsey Schwartz, rather than Lindsay Schwartz.