After long wait, seafood restaurant opens in Huntsville, another stuck in limbo

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Seafood lovers in Huntsville have been waiting around a year for a fresh catch from two promised restaurants along University Drive.

Pier 88 opened just before Christmas, while the Krab Hut hit a big snag.

“I’ve been watching it for quite some time, waiting for it to open up,” Huntsville resident Al Frye said.

Frye got his wish the week before Christmas as Pier 88 opened its doors.

“Everybody’s on holiday vacation,” Frye said. “They’re in that eating, giving mood.”

The new eatery is welcomed news after months of ‘coming soon’ banners and waiting.

“I think they’re going to do well in this spot,” Frye said.

So, it’s full steam ahead for Pier 88, but one of their would-be competitors on University Drive ran into troubled waters in 2019.

It’s been nearly a year of work, but the Krab Hut has still not set sail. WHNT News 19 asked the city what happened with the property, here’s what they told us.

Joe Aaron Fleming Construction was hired to work on the restaurant. Then the building owner hired a roofing company to install a new roof. But while the roof was being worked on, a heavy downpour flooded the building, which ruined much of the interior and the electrical system. That’s when the Huntsville City Inspections Department asked for a mold survey.

After several months, Joe Aaron Fleming Construction left and 1st Choice Electrical took over and hired a mold specialist company to test the building. A week before Christmas, the city told WHNT News 19 the inspection office got the report and the building got the thumbs up to move forward.

After this story aired, WHNT News 19 spoke with a representative from Joe Aaron Fleming Construction. He says they were not involved in the roofing work, but after last spring’s rain proved catastrophic, the contractor met several times with the building owner. In the fall, after months of delays, JA Fleming Construction told WHNT News 19 they gave the property owner their blessing to hire another contractor to handle the mold cleanup and remaining work inside the restaurant.

“I’ve been watching it. It hasn’t gotten here yet,” Frye said of the Krab Hut property.

And it’s unknown just how long it’ll take for the vacant restaurant to come ashore.

Huntsville city leaders told WHNT News 19 there don’t appear to be any plans to sell the building. But it’s unclear if the new restaurant will still be known as the Krab Hut or when it could open.

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