“Free Crabs Tomorrow” has been a slogan of Joe’s Crab Shack (a Texas-based chain restaurant) since 1991. No free crabs have been served because “tomorrow” never comes.
Wikipedia: Joe’s Crab Shack
Joe’s Crab Shack is an American chain of beach-themed seafood casual dining restaurants owned by J.H. Whitney & Company. Founded in Houston, Texas, the restaurant now operates locations all across the country. It serves seafood and American cuisine. The restaurant is well-known for its staff who dance, play games, and embarrass guests in front of the whole restaurant for their birthdays. The restaurants also have a gift shop that sell t-shirts featuring phrases broadcasting Joe’s seafood choices. It is based in Sugar Land, Texas.
Joe’s Crab Shack was owned by Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. Joe’s Crab Shack was established in Houston in 1994. Today the brand includes a national chain of 120 restaurants in 28 states featuring a festive, but laid-back atmosphere. Many of the locations are on waterfront property with large patio seating areas, built to resemble an old beachfront property.
On November 17, 2006, Joe’s was sold to J.H. Whitney & Company, a privately held company, operating as JCS Holdings, LLC. The sales price was $192 million including the assumption of liabilities of $225 million.
JCS Holdings changed their name to Ignite Restaurant Group in April 2009 and still operate the 113 existing Joe’s Crab Shack and 3 Brickhouse Tavern and Tap restaurants. They are still headquartered in Houston.
29 December 1995, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Joe’s Crab Shack Getting a leg up on seafood,” Star Time, pg. 16:
A sign painted on the front of the building proclaims, “Free Crabs Tomorrow.” Of course, tomorrow never comes.
December 1997, Indianapolis Monthly (IN), pg. 213, col. 1:
Forgive me, but I was intrigued by the artificially rustic mood, the “Free crabs tomorrow” signage and all those Christmas lights.
2 March 1998, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “Wear the bib, and dig in on crabs, crabs, crabs” (Joe’s Crab Shack), business plus, pg. 17:
And don’t get too excited when you see the sign that reads: “Free crabs tomorrow.”
12 May 2002, Boston (MA) Globe:
One freebie that is no real deal, however, is the sign on Joe’s Crab Shack in New Orleans, promising “Free Crabs Tomorrow.” It’s a joke, folks.
(Joe’s Crab Shack—ed.)
Word Mark FREE CRABS TOMORROW
Goods and Services IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: restaurant and bar services. FIRST USE: 19911001. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19911001
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75145477
Filing Date August 5, 1996
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 7, 1997
Registration Number 2125102
Registration Date December 30, 1997
Owner (REGISTRANT) Landry’s Trademark, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 300 DELAWARE AVENUE, 9TH FL. Wilmington DELAWARE 19801
(LAST LISTED OWNER) IGNITE RESTAURANT GROUP, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 9900 WESTPARK DRIVE, STE 300 ATTN: GENERAL COUNSEL HOUSTON TEXAS 77063
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record WILLIAM D. RAMAN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20071029.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20071029
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