Crab Louie’s: Ghost on the Side
Recently Camille and I had lunch at Crab Louie’s, a restaurant with a long, long history in the Richmond area. And it came with an extra side: A ghost story! Just in time for Halloween.
First of all, let me just start with a big thumbs up. We loved Crab Louie’s as soon as we walked in the door. We love that you can feel the history as you settle into a booth in this tavern that dates all the way back to 1745. The property and the beautiful sycamore trees sheltering it have been thriving circa the signing of the Declaration of Independence—how cool is that?
Turns out the place is haunted. Not maybe…not we’ve heard tell…but legit paranormal activity. The staff actually seems kind of laid back about it. The spirits are taken for granted, worked around, accommodated. Owner and staff and regulars don’t seem even surprised when they see things sliding off the table, with no logical explanation.
Our lovely waitress Brandy tells us she has been at Crab Louie’s almost 14 years and refers to these paranormal guests almost like friends who sometimes get a little out of hand. There’s a specific table that is ghostly. It is Table 10.
“We’ll set the table nice and pretty and we’ll come back and the silverware is all askew,” Brandy says. “I have seen a wine glass fly off of it. Glasses fly off the bar.”
Note that these glasses are housed on the typical bar fixture which requires sliding and lifting the glasses off.
Others report seeing things in the kitchen fly around. An even weirder occasional occurrence: The big weathervane by the door, which is firmly anchored on an L-bracket, has come off and landed on the floor.
I observed that there must be disgruntled spirits here. “Not disgruntled!” exclaims Brandy. The assumption is that the spirit in question is a little girl who passed away from pneumonia at some point in the home’s long history, who still wants to play.
Another apparition, a well-dressed man in a top hat, is mostly quiet but still quite disconcerting: “You will turn around and see him and then he will disappear…” Brandy notes, “where there is nowhere to go.” Many, many people have seen him over the years, the previous owner included.
Now Camille and I sat right next to the haunted Table 10 when we visited Crab Louie the other day. We did not see a ghost. All was quiet. I admit I was a little disappointed because I have known a few individuals who swear to have experienced paranormal activity, but I have never even come close. It is kind of on my bucket list. Or not…
Oh, by the way, the food: Delicious! Crab Louie’s famous crab cake is top-notch. We know why it is famous and Brandy proudly pointed it out: this cake is pure crab, no filler. It is one of the best we’ve ever had. This time we also had the Mediterranean fish chowder. As expected at a seafood-focused restaurant, the seafood soups are stellar.
We have had so many good meals here. We always seem to sit down famished. For this reason we greatly appreciate the fact that–instead of the typical pre-meal breadbasket –Crab Louie’s serves a selection of seasonal sweet breads as well as relishes. I call this dessert before dinner, and happily, gratefully, indulge.
But what stood out here was the experience. We Boomers are all about the experience, all about the good stories…and all about the food. Turns out Crab Louie’s had it all. In their own words:
Although this site has changed names and owners several times during the past two and a half centuries, the commitment to preserve the tradition and heritage of this establishment has not.
You will find Crab Louie’s at
1352 Sycamore Square in Midlothian, VA 23113
With the weather getting colder, they have a lovely fireplace to cozy up next to for happy hour, served every day of the week.
Happy Haunting Everyone! Enjoy Halloween