It appears that an old restaurant on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township, which has been closed for a number of years, will be reopening as a new eatery within the next several weeks.

Hint: most know the old place for the giant inflatable crab that used to be on its roof, but I'm going to guess that the crab will not be coming back.

We are, of course, talking about the East Bay Crab & Grille space in the Cardiff Plaza Shopping Center on the old Cardiff Circle, over by the Goodwill Store and Harbor Freight Tools.

East Bay was known for its all-you-can-eat crabs back in the day. Do you remember eating there? Check out this video from 2010.

Best I can remember, East Bay closed around 2014 or 2015. A Caribbean clam bar opened there in the summer of 2016 but it didn't last long. Since then, not much has happened but that appears to be changing.

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While "for lease" signs are still hanging in the windows, an existing restaurant in the area has hinted that they are moving part of their operation there.

Former East Bay Crab and Grille space in Egg Harbor Township NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
Former East Bay Crab and Grille space in Egg Harbor Township NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman

Essl's Dugout has been a landmark on the Black Horse Pike in Pleasantville since the 1970s -- and by "landmark," we listed them as one of 29 best local South Jersey restaurants as determined by locals not too long ago (that list is below).

Per a cryptic post on Facebook the other day, Essl's says,

Well it’s official
Bob is opening a larger store to move our catering division so our loyal essls fans have more parking at the original location
Not only will this be our catering facility but we will also have a 2000sf classic Italian deli and pizza retail store

With that post was a picture of a portion of the old East Bay space with its unique dark grey color and window markings.

Their post continued,

We are going to keep the location unknown but if you want you can guess and post it

And since quite a number of people have guessed the location, we're not giving away government secrets by writing this. However, I'll mention that Essl's hasn't officially confirmed the news.

If all goes as planned, Essl's new location, wherever it may be, should be open by the middle of November.

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