Dancing Crab to shed its rough exterior in Tenleytown

The Dancing Crab, a decades-old seafood institution in Tenleytown, is poised for a major upgrade.

The renovated space will add summer gardens on the second floor and the rooftop, adding approximately 40 seats to the restaurant, according to a filing with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The Crab has been closed since November. Part of the renovations began before the closure when the Crab enclosed its elevated patio seating. The investment in the restaurant, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last May, is courtesy of its new owners: Carlos Horcasitas and May-May Au Huie, longtime Dancing Crab customers who decided to buy the businesses on a lark when they heard it was for sale in 2012, according to neighborhood blog Tenleytown DC.

The renovations include the raised cafe seating, which is enclosed and usable year-round, as well as a second-floor garden that opens toward Wisconsin Avenue above the existing cafe space. It also includes a third-floor roof deck that will be constructed. The design work is being performed by real estate and architecture firm Streetsense.

Construction of the new gardens and renovation of the interior constitute a “substantial change” for the purpose of the restaurant’s liquor license, according to Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration documents. At Wednesday’s ABC board meeting, the board referred the proposal to its licensing division.

The move will help the formerly gritty bar keep up with the Joneses on its block. Its neighbor to the south is Public, the restaurant and bar with lively roof deck that opened in 2011. On the other side, “neighborhood eatinghouse” Bread & Salt plans to open on the ground floor of a new office building at 4619 41st St. NW.


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