The Crabby Bill’s adventure started in New Jersey where Bill Loder and his wife Dolores were beginning a life and a family together. Mom and Dad (Bill & Dolores Loder) had been in the seafood business since early after their marriage in 1954. They sold blue crabs on the side of the road, and also owned a small seafood restaurant together. Dolores and Bill loved traveling to the Jersey shore, Delaware and Maryland to acquire fresh product to sell to the public who enjoyed their style of serving fresh seafood.
In 1968, they moved to Madeira Beach, Florida, where they not only sold blue crabs along the roadside, but also did the fishing, the clamming, and the hauling of seafood all throughout the state until they finally opened their very own small restaurant, Captain Bill’s Beach Kitchen in 1975. Mom cooked, (and what a great cook she was!) Dad shucked clams, oysters , and the like while the kids pitched in to lend a helping hand.
After several locations, including restaurants in Redington Shores (1975), Madeira Beach, Bay Pines, and Tyrone, and many boats, crab traps and refrigeration trucks later, they moved in April of 1983 to Indian Rocks Beach into a small building, now Ready Set Yo; formerly known as Wolfies, a hotdog stand that sold hotdogs out of their front window on Gulf Blvd. Matt Loder, Sr, who currently runs Crabby Bill’s Family Brands, recalls how they all thought Dad was crazy at the time.
Six months later, Bill Loder bought a second building on the block, which had been previously occupied by a group of doctors, from Joe Carbonaro, thereby opening a second restaurant on the block.
In February of 1987, with Dad now in his 50's and whose desire was to own a business that could support his family and be passed down to his kids, purchased another building on the southwest corner, from Jim Sparks, owner of The Blue Lagoon (previous businesses include Scoop’s Ice Cream Shop, the Mamba Club, Blue Hawaii), and now Crabby Bill’s.
“And how did we arrive at the name Crabby Bills? Well, since we had sold the Captain Bill’s name and its location in 1982, we needed to drum up a new name for our family business and that is when daughter Eleanor declared, ‘Dad is crabby, we like crabs, why not Crabby Bill’s?‘” And history was made.
Crabby Bill’s has continued to grow over the years. What started as a small 800 square foot building on Gulf Blvd now includes several additions to the Crabby Bill Family Brands; Crabby Gifts, Jake’s Mexican Cantina, LuLu’s Oyster Bar and Tap House, Seabreeze Island Grill, and Crabby Bill's Off The Hook!