Joe's Crab Shack Apologizes for Lynching Photo on Dinner Table

Tyrone Williams said all he wanted was to enjoy a bucket of crab legs but was greeted by a lynching photo

A popular seafood restaurant chain has apologized for a racially-charged photo that was displayed on a Minnesota dining table.

Tyrone Williams said he went to Joe's Crab Shack in Roseville to enjoy a bucket of crab legs on Wednesday night, according to his Facebook post.

He and his dining partner sat down and were greeted by an image of a black man's lynching, the post said. The caption under the photo described the image as a "hanging at Goesbeck, Texas on April 12, 1895" with a cartoon-like bubble over the man's head that read, "All I said was 'I don't like the gumbo!'"

Williams was left speechless, posted the image to Facebook and encouraged his social media followers to contact Joe's Crab Shack to complain. 

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

This is on our table at Joe's Crab shack in Roseville, MN it's the lynching of two black men in Groesbeck, Texas in 1895...

Posted by Tyrone Williams on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Minnesota NAACP held a news conference outside the restaurant Thursday afternoon. The organization demanded an apology from the restaurant and its corporate offices, removal of all racist imagery at restaurant locations and a donation to a local organization serving black youth and teens, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The restaurant's Houston-based parent company, Ignite Restaurant Group, acknowledged the insensitive photo and issued an apology. 

“We understand one of the photos used in our table décor at our Joe’s Crab Shack location in Roseville, MN was offensive. We take this matter very seriously, and the photo in question was immediately removed," said David Catalano, chief operating officer of Ignite Restaurant Group. "We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community."

In addition to the apology, Joe's Crab Shack offered Williams a free meal, but he turned it down, according to the Pioneer Press. 

Contact Us