Words By Kaylee Dugan, Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Crab shacks are the heart of Maryland. No matter where you are, no matter how far away you actually are from the water, if you’re truly from the Old Line State you know where your closest crab shack is at all times. Growing up, mine was (and still is) the Crossroad Pub. The “pub” part of the establishment can only seat about five people, but the big tables and long benches in the back were meant for one thing and one thing only, tearing into a bushel of crabs.
Lucky for you city folk, D.C. will be getting their very own crab shack for the summer in the form of Cappy’s Crabs, a summer-long pop up at the old Crane and Turtle spot. It might be cleaner than the establishments I’m used to, but Cappy’s goes all the way on the nautical theme, just as they should. A painted life preserver hangs from the wall, as well as some bedazzled bouys, nautical flags, and plastic crabs, while simple blue and white murals cover the remaining walls. It’s all very bright and clean and airy. It feels like the kind of place I would rent out for the summer if that was a thing I could ever afford to do (not likely)!
In line with the traditional crab shacks of old, Cappy’s is keeping it pretty basic. Sure, there are a couple of non-crab entrees (including shrimp, clams, oysters, and a few sandwiches), but the idea behind the place is to keep it simple.
Although they’re still working on their suppliers, Cappy’s goal is to try and only serve Maryland Blue crab, a variety known for their sweetness. When that’s not possible, they plan on keeping with East Coast crabs only. Not to mention all of their crab dishes, from crab cakes to the cream of crab soup, are guaranteed made with fresh crab. For booze, they’ll have five beer options, four canned beers from Maryland (including Natty Boh, which the entire team is very enthusiastic about) and Miller High Life on tap.
Cappy’s is filling a long needed niche in D.C., a non-pretentious place to get large amounts of crabs and beer.
Cappy’s Crabs is located at 828 Upshur St. NW. They open Friday 27, and will stay open from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. throughout Memorial Day weekend. After that, they will be closed on Monday’s and will not open until 5 p.m. during the week and 12 p.m. on the weekends. They will not take reservations.