CBMM to acquire historic Crab Claw properties
ST. MICHAELS, Md., April 27, 2023 – The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is pleased to announce its intent to acquire two contiguous properties to its waterfront campus, including the current home of the Crab Claw Restaurant. Under the terms of the transaction, the restaurant will remain open for business throughout the 2023 season under its current ownership.
“This anticipated purchase marks an exciting new step in CBMM’s ongoing efforts to enhance our guests’ experience as part of our ongoing Master Plan campus upgrades,” said CBMM President & CEO Kristen Greenaway. “We highly value our role as a community partner, and we’re delighted to be able to keep the properties in the St. Michaels’ family and serve as stewards of these historic properties moving forward.
“We believe that CBMM is the best possible owner for this longtime staple of our community, and we thank Crab Claw owner Tracey Jones Wass and her family for entrusting it to us.”
Adding the properties to CBMM’s campus is a natural fit, both in terms of their neighboring physical locations and shared history. The Crab Claw Restaurant opened in 1965, the same year CBMM did, and the two have stood side by side as staples of St. Michaels for decades.
“Generations growing up in St. Michaels have worked at the Crab Claw as their first job, learning customer service and an appreciation for the classic seafood dishes of a Maryland crab house,” said CBMM’s Chief Historian Pete Lesher. “But the property’s roots go back even further, with the first pier in that location showing up on an atlas from 1877 and the town’s steamboat wharf, including a one-story building with a cupola, standing on the site by the 1890s.
“The restaurant itself, an outgrowth of the Eastern Shore Clam Company, opened almost in tandem with CBMM, and we’re very excited to be able to write the next chapter in this iconic property’s long history.”
CBMM will now begin the planning process for future use of the properties, which have such significance to the past, present, and future of the St. Michaels waterfront.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization that preserves and explores the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and makes this resource accessible to all.
Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevance, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.