Back in the 80’s and 90’s Krabby was an over the road owner operator of an 18 wheeler. He traveled through the southern states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Louisiana. As he traveled throughout the South he always stopped at the numerous Southern BBQ restaurants whenever possible. Southern BBQ had a distinctive flavor that was different from anything found in the local area.
krabby kirks bbq Many years passed and Krabby got out of the trucking business but never forgot the unique flavor of Southern BBQ. You might say that it “ate away in the back of his mind.” Having apartments in Camillus, he had occasion to drive by 55 West Genesee St. in the village of Camillus repeatedly for many years. As the building became more and more in disrepair he would wonder what could go in there that would benefit Camillus. Since he had a knack for building as well as remodeling, the condition of the building did not daunt his spirit. Even after the walk through, the leaky roof and resident pigeons only provided a challenge rather than impossibility. Almost three years of tear down, jacking floors, digging out the basement, rewiring, and reroofing, he managed to re-claim the building from the resident pigeons!
The actual structure dates back to 1890 and was at one time or another an ale house, apartments, and storefront. Probably the most interesting thing found during the tearing out was a penciled beam that read “I hate working here”. Several days later hidden in another wall were old used bottles of liquor from 1890. Finally, in the same hand hewed wall system was a round pewter tin that read re-usable condoms. Would you believe that condom was still in usable condition.
Krabby Kirk’s BBQ and Saloon opened in January 2011 and has been growing ever since. The acquisition of 57 Genesee allowed for additional seating of 40 more people and room to put in a small bakery, upper deck with Tiki Bar and an ice cream store.
Krabby graduated from West Genesee High School back in pre-historic times but always had fond memories of the Village of Camillus when growing up. Back then the Village of Camillus was a vibrant expanding community that drew a lot of people and friends. Over the years the Village deteriorated and became less than desirable. Krabby had an idea for Main Street that went back to his childhood. His great-great grandfather married a Munro in the Village in 1850 or so and went on to be Mayor of Syracuse. I am sure those roots helped him in his vision.
One last footnote—Krabby Kirk’s Saloon never would have gotten off the ground if he hadn’t received help from previous Village Mayors such as Mike Montero, Tom Grant and Kurt Brunger. In addition, Village Trustees such as Jim Palumbo, Ed Norcross, Bill Cody and Bridget Yule all helped to finalize the project. Last but not least, we have to give credit to the Village building inspector, John Williams. John was tough but fair and helped Krabby through the myriad of building permits and inspections.
By the way—Krabby’s real name is Richard and he is only Krabby when he’s managing 20 plus employees.