OFFBEAT: Shaw's Crab House has pie-in-the-sky possibilities

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-12-25T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Shaw's Crab House has pie-in-the-sky possibilitiesBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Merry Christmas!

With the start of 2014 just a week away, Chicago seafood claim-to-fame Shaw's Crab House is reminding they offer fresh-made whole pies to order for take-out at both their locations in both Chicago and Schaumburg.

Some of their favorite offerings include Shaw's famous Key Lime Pie with a graham cracker almond crust; the sweet Raspberry Pie, made with berries from Washington State; their decadent Pecan Pie or the classic Pumpkin Pie, made with fresh pumpkin. Pies are baked to order, so there must be 24 hours advance notice for each order before picking up.

Shaw's Crab House, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, features a 1940s-style take on the seafood dining experience, with retro leather banquettes, polished wood floors and Art Deco touches. The Oyster Bar provides a more casual setting for diners and serves up live music five nights a week at the Chicago location and Friday and Saturday nights at the Schaumburg location.

As for the fabled Shaw's restaurant's history, Shaw's story began with proprietor Kevin Brown, who is the current president and CEO of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc.

As a young man, Brown worked at a crab house on the eastern seashore. It was a family-owned business dedicated to bringing fresh, high-quality seafood to its patrons. He brought that philosophy and passion to Chicago when he opened Shaw's Crab House in 1984, under the guidance of Rich Melman, chairman and founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

The restaurant was actually named after Kevin's wife, Kristi Shaw (not the California Cove) and her father, Charles Shaw, an avid fisherman.

The original Chicago space, a pre-war newspaper warehouse, was revamped to include art deco accents, a classic nautical theme and hand-painted murals by artist Tom Melvin. The space is still divided into two interconnected concepts: a formal dining room and a more casual Oyster Bar, separated by a full bar lounge to provide several different dining experiences all under one roof.

Executive Chef/Partner Yves Roubaud, along with Shaw's senior vice president Steve LaHaie have maintained continuity of management for the last 25 years.

I took my parents Chester and Peggy to dine at the original downtown location at 21 E. Hubbard St. back in 2010 to enjoy the amazing Sunday brunch spread and they were very impressed to try "blood orange Mimosas."

At my visit to Shaw's last weekend, I notice they now also offer Mimosas in other varieties including special blends that feature peach and even pomegranate.

Over the past 25 years, Shaw's Crab House has established long term relationships with some of the finest fisheries on both coast.

The Dungeness Crab featured on the menu comes from Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and they are harvested, packed and shipped live to Shaw's.

FYI: (312) 527-2722 (Chicago) or

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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