The Shack expands into neighboring family store

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Shack on 550 has expanded and added indoor dining space.

Calvin Crane, owner of The Shack on 550, began renovating Crane’s Grocery in September 2019. Better known as 550 Grocery, his family’s former business is just yards away on the same lot.

“It was a family business. Mom got to the age where she could retire,” Crane said. “I needed an indoor area to go alongside my outdoor seating.”

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The renovation was held up by pandemic-created restrictions.

“COVID didn’t help anything,” Crane said.

Crane had help from his wife Kathy and designer Cathe Pigott. He wanted to keep the same feel as his outdoor seating.

“I wanted to keep the same theme here as I have over there,” Crane said. “They chose the colors and designed everything. They were instrumental in all of that.”
Crane said his brother-in-law Jeff Henning built his tabletops and benches.

“All I did was order the chairs,” Crane said.

The new space has been open for three weekends now.

“It’s growing every weekend,” Crane said. “It’s just been word of mouth.”

Crane said he decided to leave the sign up on the addition as a tribute to his family.

“I’m leaving ‘550 Grocery’ up because my momma had this place for 40 years,” Crane said. “I’m leaving that name on the building out of respect for her.”

The new space gives Crane an extra 2,400 square feet work with to serve his customers. With COVID-19 restrictions, the building will currently hold 46 people.

“When COVID-19 is over we’ll be able to have around 75 people,” Crane said.

Each weekend there will be a special item on the menu for diners.

“It changes from week to week, it just depends on what I feel like doing,” Crane said.

The Shack on 550 features seafood items such as grouper, crab legs, lobster, crawfish, shrimp and oysters. The restaurant also offers beef products such as steaks. All of his seafood products are wild caught.

“I worked overseas for 25 years, so I buy all domestic,” Crane said.

The new space has been good for business due to the weather.

“Right now I’ve got a good customer base, but when the weather is too cold or too hot, my onsite dining drops dramatically,” Crane said. “So I’ve got to have a way for people to come and sit down year round.”

Crane said his customers have enjoyed the new space so far.

“My business has almost doubled,” Crane said. “I’ve had a lot of good feedback from customers.”