One of several same-but-different crab restaurants that recently opened in Tuscaloosa is permanently closed but will re-emerge as the first Alabama location for a fast-growing hot pot meets Korean barbeque joint.

The Juicy Seafood opened in the old Ryans building off Skyland Boulevard in front of the CMX Hollywood 12 movie theater in July 2021. Their arrival came not long after The Juicy Crab arrived in Midtown Village and T-Town Juicy Crab opened on McFarland Boulevard — the latter eventually changed its name to Yummy Seafood to avoid copyright litigation with the Juicy Crab.

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The Juicy Seafood never seemed to find its footing and last week, management there announced its permanent closure after just a year and a half in business.

The old Ryan's building will not stand vacant, though -- management said on Facebook that the restaurant will rebrand into a Korean barbeque place in the same location.

A banner hanging on the wall of the building Thursday says the restaurant will reopen as a KPOT, "a unique, hands-on, all-you-can-eat experience that merges traditional Asian hot pot with Korean BBQ flavor."

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

For those unfamiliar with the hot pot concept, it is a kind of communal dining experience in which patrons cook their own ingredients in broth heated in pots on burners built right into the table.

12 KPOT locations are already open, but the brand has immediate plans to expand into 26 U.S. states. The Tuscaloosa location, if it is seen to fruition, will be Alabama's first.

For more on this concept as it develops on Courtney Drive and for other exclusive stories from the restaurant and retail development beat, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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