Upscale Canlis opens crab shack in parking lot to keep business going during pandemic

SEATTLE — Upscale Seattle restaurant Canlis has figured out a new way to serve customers during the pandemic by opening a crab shack in its parking lot.

The restaurant already temporarily opened a burger drive-thru and drive-in movie theater in the past few months to keep the business going.

>> Canlis launches drive-in movie theater in parking lot

The new Canlis crab shack officially opens to the public 12 p.m. Thursday, complete with huts, sails and even a shipwreck.

Customers will be served a feast of crabs, potatoes, corn and more.

Tickets cost $59.96 per person and must be reserved in advance. Learn more here.

The batch for this week sold out in 20 minutes, but more will drop next Wednesday, July 22.

Owners say the emphasis with the crab shack is safety, and they're working on building the safest restaurant possible and will require temperature checks for everyone.

"This is a statement about doing everything we can for the community, for one another," Mark Canlis said.

The restaurant says these ideas plus the backbone of their current business - delivering meals and food boxes - is keeping the business going.

Canlis is one of the few restaurants in the area that hasn’t laid off a single employee during this pandemic, even with a large staff of 110.

Mark and Brian Canlis say their former model of high-end, indoor service will return one day, but for now they are thinking of new ideas of what to do in the fall when the rain comes back.