Friday is opening day for Soul Crab in Bucktown, as chef Darius Williams debuts his first restaurant in his hometown. Williams, known to his internet followers as “Darius Cooks,” has a pair of restaurants in Atlanta where he opened the first location of Soul Crab in December 2018. Williams’s interpretation of soul food has been well received in the ATL and he’s replicating the formula in Chicago.
Williams’s grandmother, a Louisville native, influenced his cooking. He’s self taught and said there’s nothing quite like Soul Crab in Chicago. Diners will find deep-fried lobster, egg rolls stuffed with crab and collards, and mac and cheese. They’re not doing fried chicken as a regular menu item (though Williams said it could pop up as a special), but they will serve lemon-pepper chicken wings. The restaurant also has a full bar.
In a city where restaurant groups are gaining even more market share, Soul Crab is a refreshing story. Williams is funding this endeavor by himself, fueled by his popularity as a cookbook author and as an internet personality. Check out some of the food below. Soul Crab officially opens on Friday at the former Langhe Market, 1904 N. Western Avenue.