- Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas Morning News

The pool area, called Bali Beach, is winding down since summer is over. Crab House will remain, with live music and seafood all year.

 

Crab House Seafood & Oyster Bar is a new Viet-Cajun restaurant in Uptown Dallas. But, um, do you see that full-sized pool out back, with cabanas and swings?

“I’m not really concentrated on the pool back there,” says partner Taylor Nguyen. “I want to be a restaurant. The food comes first. The pool is second.”

Fair enough. But it’s not common to see a restaurant-pool hybrid in Dallas. The most memorable restaurant and beach club in recent Dallas history was Circo, and that came to a crashing close in June.

The Crab House is located in the former Sisu Uptown Resort space, on Maple Avenue near McKinney Avenue. In Sisu’s heyday, hundreds of bathing-suit-wearing clubgoers would pack into the pool for Sunday funday. On one summer evening last year, rapper Post Malone played an after party.

Nguyen says Crab House is taking a new approach, as a restaurant that occasionally hosts pool parties. When the pool is open, it’ll be called Bali Beach and will welcome people “in swimsuit attire” to drink, dance and swim out back, Nguyen says. A small, air-conditioned “treehouse” will be open during events, serving boozy ice cream from DizziBrands.

Nguyen, who has a history of opening nightclubs in Dallas, spent most of 2019 making changes to the Crab House pool to keep it up to city standards.

Crab House’s menu includes crab legs, shrimp, lobster and mussels, plus fried baskets with catfish, calamari and the like. The owners plan to set up a raw bar where customers can see the options of East Coast oysters. At happy hour, oysters will cost just $1 each.

Nguyen and restaurant operator Joseph “Buddha” Lee plan to book live musicians to play jazz and blues inside Crab House on Monday through Thursday. If there’s a wait for a table, customers can go out back and mill around near the pool, Nguyen says, though anyone eating Viet-Cajun food will need to come inside.

It’s easy to notice that Crab House sits in the shadow of Truluck’s, a two-story seafood restaurant with significant history in Dallas. Though both restaurants serve seafood, there’s a lot they don’t have in common. The biggest difference?

“They don’t have a pool,” Nguyen says.

Crab House Seafood & Oyster Bar is at 2508 Maple Ave., Dallas. It opened Labor Day Weekend.

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