The Saucy Crab

The Saucy Crab, taking over the former Baker’s Square location in Bradley, opened Saturday.

The Saucy Crab seafood restaurant opened Saturday in Bradley, but the restaurant’s owner is certainly not new to this area.

Owner Michael Qiu should be familiar to area residents. He is the owner of KanSai Japanese Steakhouse inside the Northfield Square mall, which opened in early 2014.

Kansai took over the location which was the former Ruby Tuesday, which abruptly closed in August 2012.

He and the ownership group repeated the process with Saucy Crab. They purchased the former Baker’s Square restaurant property, which had been located here since 1993 until it closed about six months ago, and for the past three months have been transforming the property into the fourth Saucy Crab location, 1315 E. Armour Road in Bradley.

The other three restaurants are located in Evergreen Park and Tinley Park in Illinois and the third is in Grand Rapids, Mich. A fifth Saucy Crab will be opening in January in Homewood.

Qiu said the restaurant will have seating for 200. He noted the seating is less than when the location was operated by Baker’s Square, which had seating for 240.

“I love this town. I welcome people to come in and see what we’ve done,” Qiu said.

The menu features an assortment of Louisiana-style and Cajun-style foods. One of its appetizers is Gator Bites, which is lightly seasoned gator chuck fried then served with ranch dressing.

The restaurant also features American staples such as hamburgers. It also offers Po’Boys platters and a kid’s menu.

The location has a liquor license.

Saucy Crab will be open from noon to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

The location will have a staff of 18 full- and part-time employees. It will offer dine-in as well as carry-out meals.

Qiu said the restaurant’s “soft opening” will allow staff to get comfortable. He said a grand opening will be planned.

Concerning KanSai, he said business is “doing OK,” but he would certainly like to see more traffic there.

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The changes at the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce did not stop with the hiring of executive director Becky Broderick.

At last week’s annual chamber meeting, two-year board Chairman Scott Smith ended his leadership role and John Keigher, CEO of Manteno’s Urban Farmer, was voted in as the next chairman of the board of directors.

“I think John will do a great job,” said Smith, who is president of Kankakee-based First Trust Bank. “John’s background is fantastic. He has a history of leading organizations that have been some of the best partners our community has ever seen, so I think John is going to be great for the organization and I’m excited for him.”

A lifelong Kankakee County resident, Keigher was a former co-owner of Midwest Transit and retired after 25 years. He’s been Urban Farmer’s CEO since January 2020.

“My family and I have been very, very fortunate to grow two very successful businesses in Kankakee County, but also to be able to give back to the community in very meaningful ways,” he said.

“I know we’ve got much to do. I’ve heard Scott say this numerous times — the chamber is only as strong as the membership. We all benefit from having more members, so I’m really looking forward to working with Becky, with the executive team and the board and continue the great work Scott and the board have done to make this community a better place to work, live and play.”

The Daily Journal’s Lee Provost writes about business rumors, coming and goings and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at lprovost@daily-journal.com or 815-937-3364.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at lprovost@daily-journal.com.