Joe’s Crab Shack Thought Lynching Would Make a Good Place Mat

Many consumers are yelling "bite me" at Joe's after this.

Joe’s Crab Shack is known for its chutzpah, with its sexually-tinged slogans and swag.

Notes like “I got crabs,” “Free crabs,” and “Peace, love, and crabs” make diners happy to eat seafood and not walk out with a violent, burning sensation later that night. However, the chain’s latest attempt at localizing humor went way too far.

As Eater reports, a Minneapolis couple — Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen — were shocked and disgusted to find a photo of a hanging displayed on one of the restaurant’s tables. Yes, because lynching makes the best tableside chats with your server.


Yeah, that really happened. The image was even charmingly entitled “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12, 1895.″ And see the cute thought bubble that was clearly placed on there by someone with Joe’s Crab Shack design? “All I said was ‘I don’t like the gumbo.'”

That’s real cute. This latest form of cluelessness and bigotry because it’s all for the kids.

Ignite Restaurant Group, Joe’s Crab Shack’s parent company, has apologized for what it described as an offensive photo. (Ya’ think?!)

“We take this matter very seriously, and the photo in question was immediately removed,” Ignite Chief Operating Officer David Catalano said in a statement, KARE reported. “We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community.”

Just a thought, but if they thought this matter was very serious in the first place, the picture should have a shot of Mr. Krabs, of Spongebob Squarepants fame, instead of a black man.

In a press release issued by the Minneapolis arm of the NAACP, chapter president Nekima Levy-Pounds said:

“This disturbing incident that occurred at Joe’s Crab Shack, demonstrates that racism is still alive and well in this country. It is sickening to know that someone would make a mockery of black men being savagely lynched and then use that imagery for decorative purposes in a restaurant. We demand accountability of Joe’s Crab Shack for allowing racist material to appear in its restaurants. This is completely unacceptable.”

Tone-deaf, party of one?