One of Rome’s popular downtown restaurants, Crawdaddy Seafood Grill, 239 Broad Street, has closed.
Owners Dereck and Joan Brady said Friday they struggled with the decision but one of those once-in-a-lifetime job opportunities came along for Dereck and he could not pass it up.
In spite of difficulties related to COVID-19 and a workforce shortage, the couple said Friday that revenue during the past year has been the best it has been in six years. Dereck said he’s been operating the kitchen at Crawdaddy at 40% of regular staff and that he’s only had one job application for the past six weeks.
The daily grind of managing the restaurant coupled with Dereck’s opportunity to accept a position as a warehouse and logistics center manager in the metro Atlanta area convinced the couple to shut down the business.
“This whole thing is about quality of life for us,” Dereck said. We haven’t had a vacation in six years. The next time I could possibly shorten to a five day week would be Thanksgiving and that’s not what we want to do the rest of our lives.”
Crawdaddy started out as a food truck business for close to four years before the couple moved into the brick and mortar location downtown six years ago.
While Dereck will take the job in Atlanta, Joan will still be an adjunct professor in the culinary arts program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
“We’re happy about our future,” Joan said.
Dereck said that three potential operators have surfaced to re-open the business but he didn’t really know how strong the prospects were.