OCEAN CITY – The Crab Bag’s approval to raze the building immediately to the north of the restaurant and add to the existing operation was extended this week for two years.
Nolen Graves of OC Crab Bag LLC came before the Planning and Zoning Commission to ask for an extended approval of a site plan that called for an expanded restaurant, pavilion and parking facilities.
In April 2013, the commission approved the original site plan request that proposed demolition of the building to the north of the Crab Bag located on 131st Street to be reconstructed as an addition to the existing restaurant that will practically triple the building in width and add much needed dining space and parking.
The Crab Bag has grown over the years to include kitchen space, indoor and outdoor dining, and bars on the first and second floor, restrooms on the first floor, and a pavilion and fireplace area. The newest addition is a “crab pit” located to the north of the building that provides additional outdoor seating.
Over the past few years, Crab Bag has also taken over the building to the north where the Kite Loft was once located and where Arnold Ziffels Lunch and Family Meals and a Crab Bag apparel store now stands. The plan is to demolish this building and construct an addition to the Crab Bag that will connect to and expand the existing restaurant.
The addition includes 3,787 square feet of new interior gross floor space and 2,773 square feet of new outdoor dining porch area. The downstairs will mostly be service oriented with kitchen, refrigeration and retail space. The upstairs will have additional restrooms, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a bar and a waiting area. There will be stairs and an elevator on the most northern point of the addition to access the second floor upon entry.
The Crab Bag has always been made an example of when it comes to non-compliant parking even though the property has been grandfathered into the city’s parking code. The addition will require 38 parking spaces that will be met with a total of 53 parking spaces, including three ADA spaces.
A few months prior to the expiration of that approved site plan, Graves returned to the commission this week asking for an extension.
“I’m just not ready to re-build but I would like to extend the site plan to keep it alive,” Graves said. “The hardest part is timing it without disturbing the business.”
Commission member Peck Miller made a motion to extend the site plan for another two years.
“I am looking forward to you doing it because it makes the parking compliant and makes the property a lot more cohesive,” Miller said.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the site plan for two years.