Bradenton seafood restaurant Mr. & Mrs. Crab expanding to Pinellas Park, Tampa

Guests are encouraged to eat with their hands.

Yep, Mr. & Mrs. Crab is the actual name of a Bradenton seafood joint (Spongebob reference or nah?), and that seafood joint is gearing up for its local expansion. Almost ready at 7550 U.S. Highway 19 N., the new Pinellas Park location for the Crabs will launch in soft-opening mode Tuesday, Dec. 4, followed by the Tampa outpost at 1251 E. Fowler Ave. in early 2019.

Mr. & Mrs. Crab guests are encouraged to eat with their hands. The casual, rustic restaurant's Cajun-style seafood is sold by weight and cooked in a one-of-a-kind blend of spices, then served in a plastic steam bag. This allows for the free-spirited chow-down of everything from shrimp and oysters to clams and crawfish. There's also a variety of crab, of course, including blue, Dungeness and snow varieties.

Gloves, bibs and, um, "tools" are available by request. Skip the fork and knife.

One highlight of the menu is the seafood combo. Diners control which type of seafood ends up in their bags and the spice level, plus their choice from four sauces: Cajun, lemon pepper, garlic butter seasoning or garlic butter. Each combo even comes with corn, potatoes and other sides like sausage and boiled eggs.

Online reservations for the soft opening of Mr. & Mrs. Crab Pinellas Park are recommended, and the location's grand opening is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 5 (just a heads up). Stay tuned for more details on the Tampa premiere.

Outside of Tampa Bay, the Crabs have outposts coming to Cape Coral and Fort Lauderdale.

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