Making the pilgrimage to Maryland shore towns for Chesapeake crabs is a summer tradition—albeit one that usually requires sitting in beach traffic (and a car). But in the coming months, DC locals can get the crab and crush experience on U Street with the opening of Chesapeake seafood shack—a new venture from Daniel Kramer and the team behind Duke’s Grocery gastropub and Korean BBQ spot Gogi Yogi.
Channeling the breezy, family-owned crab shacks of the Eastern Shore, the restaurant will feature entirely outdoor seating under a large awning. Fans will cool off diners during DC’s stickiest seasons, while heaters will keep tables cozy in the winter. Kramer says construction just began on the outdoor project and refrained from giving a set opening date, saying Chesapeake will open “later this year.”
The seafaring menu will highlight seasonal and local seafood as much as possible—naturally, some items will have a limited tenure on the menu. “But the goal is to have wooden hammers cracking crabs on picnic tables as frequently as possible,” says Kramer.
Expect classic dishes like steamed blue crabs, peel-and-eat-shrimp, summer corn, and slaw. Bar offerings will also pay homage to summers on the shore: think orange crushes made with fresh-squeezed juice and cold beers from breweries around DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
“At a time when our entire restaurant ecosystem is in recovery and rebuild mode, we’re going to do our best to support our neighbors,” says Kramer. “This is just an obvious way to do it.”
Chesapeake. 925 U St., NW