{p class=”p1”}470-282-1267 Mineka Bias, Craig Scott, Devon Alexander, Mike Clark and Chester Brathwate

General Manager: Lakisha Boutte

Open Since: Soft opening July 23; grand opening July 27

Hours: Closed Mondays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

Location: Near Frida’s Mexican, south of Kroger shopping center on Grayson Highway

Atmosphere: Krab Kingz looks to provide an upscale, casual dining experience and the ambiance resembles that of a night club.

The color blue dominates the dimly-lit interior, highlighted with accents of bright red. The booths and partitions are embroidered with oceanic decorations.

Krab Kingz’s Lawrenceville location is the first in Gwinnett County, but the second location in Atlanta. The franchise is mostly concentrated in the midwest.

On July 27, Krab Kingz held its grand opening and served large crowds. At one point there was an hour wait for tables.

“It was beautiful, we had a great time,” General Manager Lakisha Boutte said. “The food was beautifully presented and it turned out to be more than we expected, but in a good way.”

The seating is made up of mostly booths, some on the floor and others on a terrace for a more private experience. There are table tops in the left corner after entering through the restaurant’s front doors.

Facing the bar, there are semi-circle booths with small tables designed for sharing tapas and conversations.

“(VIP) is what we’re trying to portray,” Boutte said. “Sit back, relax, socialize with your friends, have tapas — which is why the tables are so small.”

The restaurant will have a full-service bar once its license is approved.

Menu: The menu, while not yet complete, is focused on crab legs and fried fish and shrimp.

“Everything here is made fresh, made to order,” Boutte said. “All of our fries are homemade. All of our tapas are homemade. We don’t buy any frozen products.”

The Fisherman’s Feast is Krab Kingz’s signature menu item. Crafted to feed up to two customers, it includes three snow crab clusters, 10 shrimp, two smoked sausage links, two ears of sweet corn, two boiled eggs and one pound of potatoes. It’s topped off with the choice of signature butter sauces: original, honey garlic, lemon pepper, spicy and cajun.

Of the signature sauces, Boutte said the cajun and honey garlic were two of the most popular during the first week.

The King’s Platter is a subdued version of the signature Fisherman’s Feast, and includes one snow crab leg cluster, six shrimp, a smoked sausage link, sweet corn, two eggs and one pound of potatoes. The shrimp platter includes five fried shrimp, with fresh cut fries and corn.

If shellfish don’t agree, there are other options. The Fish Platter is made up of two pieces of fried catfish with fresh cut fries and corn.

A take on a southern classic, Honey Butter Shrimp and Grits starts with house-made creamy jalapeno and cheese grits served with eight shrimp, garnished with signature honey butter sauce. Shrimp can also be replaced with catfish.

Tapas options include crab balls — a top seller in the first week of opening — and fish tacos. Krab balls are three deep-fried crab croquettes paired with signature aioli while the K Street Tacos are three deep fried mini flour tortillas with choice of shrimp or fish, topped with signature cajun slaw.

“It is a very hot commodity — the crab balls and the crab fries,” Boutte said.

Something You May Not Know: The Lawrenceville location is the first full-service Krab Kingz restaurant. While other restaurants — including the Atlanta location — prioritize takeout with little room to sit in, Lawrenceville’s location was transformed into a sit-down restaurant designed for entertainment and social interaction.

“This was going to be another take-and-go,” Boutte said. “When I came in I just said, ‘This place is so beautiful, why don’t we just turn this into a full-service restaurant?’”

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Taylor Denman is a reporter born and raised in Gwinnett County. He came back home to seize the rare opportunity of telling stories about the county in which he grew up.

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