Sleiman Enterprises Brings Back Long-Time St. Augustine Favorite Outback Crab Shack

[ST. AUGUSTINE, FL [July 22, 2021] – Sleiman Enterprises today announced Outback Crab Shack is returning to the river with an anticipated opening date in Spring 2022.  The original Outback Crab Shack opened in 1984 and quickly became a popular restaurant destination for locals and tourists.  Hurricane Matthew destroyed the original Outback Crab Shack in St. Augustine in 2016.  After years of remaining closed and in disrepair, Sleiman Enterprises bought the property with plans to lease to Nathan Stuart, Outback Crab Shack’s new operator.  The property is located at 8155 County Road 13 N in St. Augustine.

“So many people have fond memories of Outback Crab Shack, myself included.  But what makes this new construction even more exciting is the overall experience we will create.  It’s our intent to develop the property so Outback Crab Shack can be a total riverfront dining destination while still inviting guests with ample parking on County Road 13,” said Toney Sleiman, principal.

The property is located on Six Mile Creek, just west of the St. Johns River in St. Augustine.  St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States.  Sleiman will remain owner and developer of the project and will oversee construction.

“The reopening of Outback Crab Shack will continue the history of one of Northeast Florida’s favorite dining destination accessible by boat and land,” said Eli Sleiman, principal.

Nathan Stuart comes from a family of fishermen and currently owns six small-family seafood restaurants with locations in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee.  Nathan and his wife, Margo, are dedicated to serving great southern food made from the freshest ingredients.  Outback Crab Shack will showcase some of Florida’s most innovative cuisine, including local shrimp, fresh grouper, snapper and mahi-mahi, an assortment of oysters plus the traditional low-country boil that Outback Crab Shack was known for. 

“We are excited to bring good food, great atmosphere and people together in one awesome location.  Outback Crab Shack will be a place for people to enjoy each other’s company and share in delicious southern food prepared in our made-from-scratch kitchen.  We can’t wait to bring this concept back to life and bring activities to our riverfront including events and live music,” said Nathan.

The restaurant will feature a 1,500-foot-long dock for all to have access from the river.  This will create a boating experience to complement the new restaurant and provide a unique access point to Outback Crab Shack.  Freedom Boat Club is excited for another destination on the water. 

“For me as a boater, I am excited to see a new restaurant on the water and I cannot wait to share this with our Freedom Boat Club members, who will be able to visit the restaurant while enjoying our waterways. There are so few places we can go to by boat, so we are excited to have this popular riverfront restaurant back,” said Lisa Almeida, director of marketing of Freedom Boat Club. 

Sleiman Family History

Josephine Solomon, a native of Jacksonville, traveled to Lebanon in 1946 to visit family and on this trip, she met Eli Sleiman.  The couple married and soon started their family.  In 1949, with their second child on the way Josephine and Eli moved to Jacksonville, Florida where they planned to raise their family.  After settling in Jacksonville, the couple opened the Lynwood Grocery Store and have been part of the fabric of the Jacksonville community ever since.  In 1955, the entrepreneurial spirit within the Sleimans came to life and the couple bought their first investment property and was soon buying and selling small pieces of land in and around Jacksonville. Sleiman has expanded to develop full grocery-anchored retail centers that today include marquis tenants such as Publix, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Starbucks, Panera and many others. 

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Samantha Ashcraft
Sleiman Enterprises