TSU Alums open Smashin’ Crab Cajun & Creole Restaurant

(l-r) Smashin’ Crab owners James Wade and Robert Blalock.

A new restaurant in Hendersonville is the talk of middle Tennessee. Opened recently by a powerhouse group of Tennnessee State University alumni, the first franchise location of Smashin’ Crab is already a smashin’ success. Powered by a festive Sunday Jazz Brunch and Jazz Happy Hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Hendersonville Smashin’ Crab is definitely the hot spot for seafood. Mark your calendars now for their inaugural Smashin’ Crab Music Fest on Sunday, September 26.

Four members of TSU’s Alpha Theta chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and their families welcome you to enjoy the best seafood, service and ambience in the region. Owners Robert Blalock, Michelle Blalock, James Wade, Nicole Wade, R. Lamar Buggs, Jr. and Sedrick Turner will treat you like family, too!

Smashin’ Crab, the Nashville area’s newest culinary sensation, is a minority-owned franchise offering great food and superb entertainment. They will help you relive or create memories of Mardi Gras parades and your grandma’s gumbo while listening to Second Line Brass Bands and Zydeco tunes. They also feature some amazing appetizers, boils, specialties and signature cocktails among their many menu choices.

For Sunday Brunch from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM, for only $25, enjoy Bottomless Grand Mimosa, Sangria, or Smashed Marys, along with one of six delicious choices of food: Shrimp ‘N’ Grits, Crab Cakes, Crawfish Etouffee, or either a Salmon, Redfish or Catfish Basket. The venue offers a spectacular lineup of both food and local African American musicians, mostly jazz artists you may have seen and heard around, for Sunday Brunch and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM, for Jazz Happy Hours.

Located at 300 Indian Lake Blvd, in Hendersonville, TN 37075-6217, Smashin’ Crab opens at 11:00 AM daily, closing at 10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday; with Complimentary Valet Parking on Friday & Saturday evenings and closing at 11:00 PM. Call (615) 431-2757 for details. Menus are available online at: https://smashincrab.com/

Here is the complete music lineup for the remainder of August:

August Sunday Brunch:
Aug 8th – Will Davenport
Aug 15th – Will Davenport
Aug 22nd – Will Davenport
Aug 29th – Jerry Tachoir Group

Tuesdays Jazz Happy Hours lineup:
Aug 10th – Sonja Hopkins
Aug 17th – Will Davenport
Aug 24th – Sonja Hopkins
Aug 31st – Will Davenport

Wednesday Jazz Happy Hours lineup:
Aug 11th – Jon Gorman Band
Aug 18th – CoJo Ko Music
Aug 25th – Khayree Northcross

September 26th – Smashin Crab Music Fest Lineup:
1pm – Jon Gorman Band
2pm – CoJo Ko Music
3pm – The Carl Stewart Band
4pm- Sonja Hopkins
6pm- The Jerry Tachoir Group
7pm- Will Davenport
8pm – Khayree Northcross
9pm- Melody & Harmony

Smashin’ Crab Hendersonville Owners and their (mostly TSU) History

James and Nicole Wade

James Wade
James Wade is a Nashville native who graduated from Whites Creek Comprehensive High School.  He entered Tennessee State University in the fall of 1988 where he accepted a Football scholarship. James was a 3-year starter at Quarterback at TSU, an All-Ohio Valley Conference Performer, an Atlanta Classic Most Valuable Player. He finished his college career in the Top-5 of all major passing statistics among TSU Quarterbacks, which gave him the opportunity to work out for the San Francisco 49ers and eventually play for the Tennessee Generals, a local semi-professional football team. James is a Fall 1991 initiate of the Alpha Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.,  graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and holds a host of professional certifications. James is presently Vice-President of IT Security & Compliance of a property preservation company in Tampa, Florida and a co-founder of the restaurant concept Smashin’ Crab in Hendersonville, TN and San Antonio, TX. Along with other TSU graduates, James developed the Smashin’ Crab franchise concept under the parent company Pot Belly Stove LLC.

Nicole Howard Wade
Nicole graduated from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. She serves as Chief Operating Officer for SC Hendersonville, LLC which is the parent company of Smashin’ Crab Hendersonville.

R. Lamar Buggs, Jr.

Robert Blalock
Robert Blalock is a solution-focused Senior Executive, Entrepreneur, and Advisor. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University in Computer Science. During his tenure at TSU, he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Theta Chapter. He went on to achieve his Master’s Degree from Illinois State University in Software Engineering and currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where he serves as Chief Information Officer (CIO), for Benebay, Inc. In addition, Robert has a growing restaurant entrepreneurial role, as a franchise owner of two Zaxby’s restaurants in the Tampa Area and now a cofounder of the new restaurant concept Smashin’ Crab, located in Hendersonville, TN and San Antonio, TX. Along with other TSU graduates, Robert developed the Smashin’ Crab franchise concept under the parent company Pot Belly Stove LLC where he serves as the Chief Operating Officer. He oversees strategic priorities by directing activities supporting the company’s growth through restaurant development including sales of additional franchises.

Robert and Michelle Blalock and family.

Michelle Blalock
Michelle Ragland Blalock is a multi-talented communications expert and STEM advocate. As the president of STEM Exposure, a non-profit designed to expose minority youth to science, technology, engineering and math careers and resources. As a former Television news reporter for various ABC and CBS affiliates and a show host for Home Shopping Network, Michelle developed the organization to introduce kids to the lifestyle a STEM career affords someone willing to work hard and reap the benefits. Michelle is co-owner in the Blalock’s growing restaurant businesses, as a franchise owner of two Zaxby’s restaurants, where she also serves as marketing director, in the Tampa Area, and is a co-founder of the new restaurant concept Smashin’ Crab in Hendersonville, TN and San Antonio, TX. Michelle graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Media Studies.

LaMarr Buggs
LaMarr Buggs, Jr. is the head principal of Turner/Bartels K-8 School in Tampa Bay, Florida. He is a Tennessee State University graduate, with a degree in early education. During his tenure at TSU, he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Theta Chapter and was a member of the TSU Track & Field and Tennis teams.

Sedrick Turner

Sedrick Turner
During his tenure at TSU, Sedrick pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Theta Chapter. Sedrick Turner received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from TSU in 1993. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Alpha Theta Chapter – Resurrektion 37. Sedrick has been in the restaurant and real estate industries for over 25 years and is highly respected for his ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities in these industries.

He currently serves as the President of Global Midsouth Corporation. Sedrick has been awarded the Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award as well as numerous awards from elected officials. He was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine for his innovative and creative management style.

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