Daytona Joe's Crab Shack extension prevents panhandling on pier

Changes are coming to the Joe’s Crab Shack on the Main Street Pier in Daytona Beach.

The Daytona City Commission on Wednesday approved a request to extend the restaurant to the base of the pier. The 6,322-square-foot extension will allow Joe’s to take up one side of the pier for additional dinning and merchandise kiosks. A walkway on the opposite side of the pier will remain open allowing visitor access to the East end of the pier for fishing and walking.

“They’re great for the economy -- for one, providing jobs to residents and they’re a great tourist attraction, a well-known brand so people come for that, and they support the other businesses in the area, because they are an anchor restaurant here,” said Quanita May, Daytona City Commissioner.

But what this restaurant change also does is move the entrance of the restaurant to the start of the pier. Under the newly implemented city ordinance, panhandlers must stay 20 feet away from businesses.

Jungle George’s souvenir shop owner George St. Pierre says panhandlers at the base of the pier has been a problem for many years. The new ordinance did not keep panhandlers off the pier because Joe’s entrance is not for several hundred feet but does act as a corridor to the restaurant.

“At that end of the pier, I don’t think the panhandling ordinance covered it,” said George St. Pierre, owner of Jungle George’s, “by allowing Joe’s to have that end of the pier, it also helps them be able to patrol and take care of that end of the pier.”

St. Pierre thinks the extension of Joe’s will boost business and keep panhandlers away.

“I think it’s a great idea to have them down here, to bring more tourists down to the area and it also helps to police the pier in itself which in the past has been a hangout for people that we’d rather not have down there,” said St. Pierre.

No word on when Joe’s Crab Shack plans to implement the extension. FOX 35 News reached out to Landry’s, Joe’s parent company for comment but it was not provided.