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Popular Atlanta Soul Food Restaurateur to Open a Chicago Seafood Spot

Soul Crab from chef Darius Williams is coming to Bucktown

Restaurant storefront with writing on the window.
Signage for Soul Crab has gone up at the former Animale space in Bucktown.
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Another soul food restaurant from the South is arriving in Chicago, giving the city an apparent trend after the success of Miami import the Licking from hip-hop stars E-Class and DJ Khaled. Window signs are up near the Bucktown/Logan Square border for Soul Crab at the space formerly occupied by Animale at 1904 N. Western Avenue. Soul Crab is a popular Atlanta-area restaurant owned by celebrity chef and cookbook author Darius Williams.

Williams wasn’t immediately reached, but back in June he posted a YouTube video officially announcing his plans to open a Chicago restaurant. He’s from Chicago’s West Side and grew up eating at places like MacArthur’s, Glady’s Luncheonette (closed), and Priscilla’s Ultimate Soul Food Cafeteria. He’s been looking to open a Chicago restaurant for the last two years in places like Bronzeville, the West Side, and Lincoln Park but couldn’t find a location that he didn’t have to sink significant money into. In the video, he goes into the struggle dealing with real estate agents.

Soul Crab Chicago will serve jerk lobster, catfish filet dinner, Cajun-buttered lobster tails, and more. Williams added in the video that he’s working on securing a liquor license. Check out the Atlanta menu here for an idea of what the Chicago location might offer.

Williams owns Soul Crab and another Atlanta restaurant, Greens And Gravy. Soul Crab opened in December in College Park, Georgia. Black People Eats’s Jeremy Joyce, a Chicago native who keeps a database of black-owned restaurants in Chicago and Atlanta, visited and is a fan of dishes like shrimp stuffed with gouda.

Soul food isn’t abundant on Chicago’s North Side, though Soulé is nearby in West Town. Williams’s Atlanta restaurants are in areas with sizable African American populations, so opening in Bucktown/Logan Square near the CTA’s Western Blue Line stop is a change for him.

There’s no indication of an opening date, so stay tuned for updates.

Soul Crab

1904 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL Visit Website

Animale

1904 western, Chicago, IL 60647

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