River St. businesses welcome opening of Joe's Crab Shack - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

River St. businesses welcome Joe's Crab Shack

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Peace, Love and Crabs in Savannah. Joe's Crab Shack is a national chain but other businesses on River Street aren't scared of the competition, they welcome it. The new location opened on River Street Tuesday.

"Frankly, we think any foot traffic will be very positive for us," said Anna Jackson, Spanky's Community Relations Spokesperson.

One-Eyed Lizzy's is already seeing a boost.

"We are actually very excited," said Dawn Ponthof, One-Eyes Lizzy's Bartender. "We are thrilled they are having a grand opening because it is bringing so many more people down here now. It is awesome."

The city of Savannah is just as excited to welcome the new business.

"We are thrilled when a business decides to invest in our community and we are particularly thrilled when a nationally known outfit like Joe's Crab Shack decides to call River Street home," said Bret Bell, City of Savannah Public Information Office Director. "It really shows the strength of our economy and specifically our tourist market. We saw record numbers last year."

12.1 million visitors to be exact.

"I think it will bring more people and more locals down here, which is what everyone wants," said Pothof. "We get a lot of tourists but it would be awesome if we could get more local traffic as well. We think Joe's Crab Shack will do that."

But when it comes to River Street, parking is always a concern.

"Since it is already an issue, I see it potentially increasing, but we look forward to people walking a little bit more," said Jackson.

During the past few years, the city of Savannah has added additional off street parking garages and developed systems to allow tourists and locals to park their cars and either travel on foot or use the downtown transportation system. Many are still wondering whether this will deter potential customers.

"I think you are going to have more problems with the parking because parking is already limited as it is right now for workers and people coming down," said Courtney Linger, cashier at Bob's Your Uncle. "You are going to have more traffic as far as parking. Where is the parking going to come from here."

"Our hope is for tourists or locals to park that thing in one of our garages and just forget about it while they are here," said Bell. "Savannah is one of America's most walkable cities. It is the best way to get around."

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