Joe’s Crab Shack in Riverhead and Oceanside served their final customers this week, closings that point to a downsizing of the brand owned by Texas-based Ignite Restaurant Group.
The Oceanside location had been open since 2012; Riverhead since 2013. The Westbury and Deer Park locations remain open.
Ignite did not return calls regarding how many employees lost jobs and whether they’d be reassigned to remaining locations.
Joe’s Crab Shack sells oversized margaritas, seafood dinners and crab feasts — and experiences that include servers dancing to choreographed routines.
But lately, there’s been less dancing at Ignite restaurants. Prior to the Long Island closings, in June, the company announced it would close locations in the Bronx, Newark and Harlem.
Ignite has tried other tactics to raise its profile and sales, positioning itself as the first national chain to get rid of tips at 18 locations. By May of this year the company reverted back to tipping, following a 10 percent drop in sales at those locations.
Earlier in 2015, Joe’s announced the closing of seven locations when same-store sales fell 6 percent for the third quarter. Then, there were 130 Joe’s Crab Shack locations; today there are fewer than 120 restaurants, according to the website.
Joe’s Crab Shack remains open at 1195 Corporate Dr., Westbury, 516-745-6728 and 1700 The Arches Circle, Deer Park, 631-586-0470; the closed locations include one in Oceanside at 3555 Long Beach Rd. and the other in Riverhead at 1490 Old Country Rd.