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The interior of Crab & Fin will receive a total transformation during two-and-a-half weeks of renovations in September. Robin Hartill
Longboat Key Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 4 years ago

Crab & Fin seeks to raise the bar with renovations

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Expect to see a totally transformed Crab & Fin Restaurant on St. Armands Circle by the end of September.

The food, the chefs and the menu aren’t changing.

But the restaurant will close for two-and-a-half weeks after Labor Day while the interior is completely gutted, according to owner Scott Macdonald, whose parents, Jim and Pam Macdonald, founded the restaurant 35 years ago.

The changes in store include moving the bathroom and bar, opening up the ceiling and new colors, paint and artwork.

“It’s going to be fresh; it’s going to be clean; and, hopefully, it’s going to be a nice transition,” Macdonald said. “At the same time, we’ve had our loyal clientele for 35 years, and we’re not trying to turn ourselves into something that we’re not.”

One key part of the project will be the reconfiguration of the bar. Currently, the restaurant has two downstairs dining rooms that are completely separate. The project will open up the dining rooms and place the bar in between them.

“The whole idea was to create an open flow for the restaurant,” Macdonald said.

The restaurant won’t expand its seating and, if anything, will reduce the number of restaurant seats while increasing the bar area. Macdonald said he aims to make the spot “a destination bar.”

The upstairs dining room, which is used for general dining during peak season and special events, won’t be part of the project because it was recently renovated.

The last major renovation of the restaurant took place approximately 10 years ago.

Macdonald declined to disclose the total cost of renovations but said it will be “in the hundreds of thousands.” He expects the project to be hectic, but he believes the project can be completed in the timeframe. Work on the back area of the restaurant will begin in August, before it closes.

“It’s very exciting,” Macdonald said. “It’s a stressful type of excitement, but it’s going to be a major renovation for us.”

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