Willie T’s Seafood Shack is set to open this month in the former home of Andy’s Restaurant at 9326 Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring, according to a report from Bethesda Beat.
The location was supposed to open in April, but the opening date has been a “moving target,” John Tang, manager of Willie T’s in Springfield, Va., said to Bethesda Beat last month.
Thompson Hospitality’s vice president of business development Cole Whaley said to the Source last December that the arrival of Willie T’s will fill what the company sees as a need in the area.
Willie T’s is named for CEO Warren Thompson’s grandfather, who had fishing boats a long time ago, Whaley said. He created the original Willie T’s seafood shack offering lobster, shrimp, and crab rolls.
“One of our divisions is corporate offices, so we do cafeterias in 60 of the Fortune 500 companies around the country,” Whaley said. “Willie T’s as a lobster shack operates in some of those.”
In 2020 the company decided to expand the concept and start offering items such as fried and grilled catfish, shrimp, oysters, and lobsters.
“We want to bring Wharf-style seafood,” Whaley said, referring to the Wharf along the Washington, D.C waterfront that has served the city for years, “that style of seafood out to the suburbs.”
Once they had the concept set, they moved it into the Austin Grill in Springfield, Va. (another of the company’s outlets) as a pop-up.
“I personally used to eat at Andy’s in Silver Spring,” he said. When the space became available, the company looked at it for about a year and then negotiated a lease for the location.
Be Right Burger, a fast-casual burger restaurant under the Thompson Hospitality umbrella, will open adjacent to Willie T’s Seafood Shack.
“BRB is another brand we have,” Whaley said. “Sometimes we operate in airports, sometimes in college campuses.”
BRB currently is open in both Dulles and Reagan National airports and the company, noticing the lack of a burger place in that Georgia Avenue corridor, decided to combine the two concepts in one location.
“When you come in, you can order burgers or from the seafood menu as well,” Whaley said, under the tagline “Fresh, Fried, Grilled.”
It will primarily focus on counter service and takeout, but there will be seating for about 27 people to dine in, and they plan to have a full liquor license.
Source file photo
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