The Rustic Inn on the Jupiter Inlet will close Saturday night, according to Jupiter officials and the manager of the restaurant.
“The employees were devastated. But they saw it coming,” said the manager who asked not to be named.
A memo from Jupiter Interim Town Manager Lori Bonino also said the restaurant is closing.
Rustic Inn opened in January, 2015 in the former location of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on the Jupiter Inlet just south of U.S. 1, next door to Jetty’s restaurant.
Rustic Inn, famous for its garlic crabs, was located on a canal on Griffin Road west of I-95 for decades.
Rustic Inn in Jupiter employs about 50 full- and part-time employees, the manager said.
Jupiter developer Charles Modica last November bought The Rustic Inn Crabhouse property in for $8.3 million, more than doubling Modica’s land holdings on this section of A1A along the Jupiter Inlet.
The 3.7-acre Rustic Inn site, at 1065 State Road A1A, is just west of Modica’s 2-acre parcel on Love Street. There, Modica wants to build an outdoor marketplace featuring restaurants, offices and shops.
The $30 million project has been three years in the making.
Modica has said he plans on keeping the Rustic Inn building as a restaurant.
The Love Street project has been scaled back in size because of residents’ complaints about traffic and parking.
But some residents still oppose development of the land.
Business has been strong at Rustic Inn, which has outdoor seating with a wide view of the Lighthouse, docks and boats drifting to and from the Inlet.
“People around here like local restaurants, like Guanabanas. They don’t like chain restaurants,” said the manager.
Staff Writer Alexandra Clough contributed to this report.