Two Fish Crab Shack, the seafood boil destination in Bronzeville, is looking to expand to the adjacent vacant lot next to its current space at 641 E. 47th St.
While the $9 million project isn’t expected to be completed until 2025, owner Yasmin Curtis has expansion plans bigger than most restaurateurs’ dreams. On top of creating a larger space for her restaurant that includes rooftop and sidewalk cafe dining areas, Curtis plans to build 10 two- and three-bedroom units above the restaurant, according to Block Club Chicago. While Curtis isn’t sure if the apartments will be condos or apartments, she is hiring a Black-owned construction firm to carry out the vision.
“I got my first set of renderings in 2019,” Curtis tells Block Club Chicago. “Once I realized that you can build up I thought it would be a great opportunity to create more density in the community and more density on 47th Street because there are so many vacant lots. I want to give 47th Street something it doesn’t have. We definitely don’t have a rooftop space in Bronzeville.”
Curtis opened Two Fish Crab Shack almost seven years ago and has been a staple to the neighborhood, even through the pandemic. The restaurateur was even able to begin selling her line of seafood and sauces at local Mariano’s in 2021. Now she will use traditional financing to fund the project, hoping to eventually obtain grants or loans. The expansion proves Curtis’ deep love and appreciation for Bronzeville, deciding not to take her business elsewhere.
“Representation is important all across the board,” Curtis tells the publication. “That’s why I’m in Bronzeville. We want to be proud that we have built our own community. So if we can continue to build a community that we serve and live in, that’s important. We want to make sure we’re a part of that.”