TSU Alums open Smashin ‘Crab Cajun & Creole Restaurant


(lr) Smashin ‘Crab owners James Wade and Robert Blalock.

A new restaurant in Hendersonville is on everyone’s lips in central Tennessee. The first Smashin ‘Crab franchise location was recently opened by a strong group of Tennnessee State University alumni and is already a huge hit. Driven by a festive Sunday jazz brunch and jazz happy hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, Hendersonville Smashin ‘Crab is definitely the seafood hotspot. Make a note of the first Smashin ‘Crab Music Fest on Sunday, September 26th in your calendar now.

Four members of the Fraternity’s TSU Alpha Theta Chapter 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!

The newest culinary sensation in the Nashville area, Smashin ‘Crab is a minority-owned franchise that offers great food and entertainment. They will help you relive the Mardi Gras parades and your grandma’s gumbo or create memories while listening to the second line brass bands and Zydeco sounds. They also offer some amazing starters, boils, specialties and cocktails among their many menu choices.

For Sunday brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., enjoy Bottomless Grand Mimosa, Sangria, or Smashed Marys along with one of six delicious foods: Shrimp ‘N’ Grits, Crab Cakes, Crawfish Etouffee, or either one Salmon, redfish or catfish basket. The venue has a spectacular line-up of food and local African American musicians, mostly jazz artists you may have seen and heard, for Sunday brunch and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for jazz happy hours.

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

Here is the full music lineup for the rest of August:

Sunday brunch in August:
August 8 – Will Davenport
August 15 – Will Davenport
August 22 – Will Davenport
August 29 – Jerry Tachoir Group

Tuesdays Jazz Happy Hours line-up:
August 10 – Sonja Hopkins
August 17th – Will Davenport
August 24th – Sonja Hopkins
August 31 – Will Davenport

Wednesday Jazz Happy Hours line-up:
August 11th – Jon Gorman Band
August 18th – CoJo Ko Music
August 25 – Khayree North Cross

September 26 – Smashin Crab Music Fest Lineup:
1 p.m. – Jon Gorman Band
2 p.m. – CoJo Ko music
3 p.m. – The Carl Stewart Band
4 p.m. – Sonja Hopkins
6 p.m. – The Jerry Tachoir Group
7 p.m. – Will Davenport
8 p.m. – Khayree Nordkreuz
9 p.m. – melody & harmony

Smashin ‘Crab Hendersonville Owner and their (mostly TSU) history

James and Nicole Wade

James Wade
James Wade is from Nashville and graduated from Whites Creek Comprehensive High School. In the fall of 1988, he entered Tennessee State University, where he accepted a football scholarship. James was a 3-year-old starter with the quarterback at TSU, an All-Ohio Valley Conference performer, an Atlanta Classic Most Valuable Player. He finished his college career in the top five of all major passing stats among the TSU quarterbacks, which gave him the opportunity to train for the San Francisco 49ers and eventually play for the Tennessee Generals, a local semi-professional soccer team. James is an initiate in the Fall of 1991 of the Alpha Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., holds a BS in Computer Science and holds a variety of professional certifications. James is currently the vice president of security and compliance for a real estate preservation company in Tampa, Florida and co-founder of the Smashin ‘Crab restaurant concept in Hendersonville, TN and San Antonio, TX. Along with fellow TSU graduates, James developed the Smashin ‘Crab franchise under parent company Pot Belly Stove LLC.

Nicole Howard Wade
Nicole holds a BS in Computer Science from Tennessee State University. She is the chief operating officer of SC Hendersonville, LLC, the parent company of Smashin ‘Crab Hendersonville.

R. Lamar Buggs, Jr.

Robert Blalock
Robert Blalock is a solution-oriented senior executive, entrepreneur and consultant. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Tennessee State University. During his tenure at TSU, he signed up for the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Theta Chapter. He then earned his masters degree in software engineering from Illinois State University and currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where he is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Benebay, Inc. In addition, Robert has a growing role as a restaurant entrepreneur. as the franchise owner of two Zaxby’s restaurants in the Tampa area and now co-founder of the new Smashin ‘Crab restaurant concept based in Hendersonville, TN and San Antonio, TX. Together with other TSU graduates, Robert developed the Smashin ‘Crab franchise concept under parent company Pot Belly Stove LLC, where he serves as chief operating officer. He oversees strategic priorities by directing activities that support the company’s growth through restaurant development including the sale of additional franchises.

Robert and Michelle Blalock and family.

Michelle Blalock
Michelle Ragland Blalock is a versatile communications professional and MINT advocate. As president of STEM Exposure, a nonprofit that aims to introduce young minority people to science, technology, engineering and math, as well as careers and resources. As a former television reporter for various ABC and CBS subsidiaries and a show host for Home Shopping Network, Michelle developed the organization to introduce children to the lifestyle of a STEM career that offers someone willing to work hard and the benefits to use. Michelle co-owns Blalock’s growing restaurant business, franchises two Zaxby’s restaurants, where she also serves as director of marketing in the Tampa area, and co-founded the new Smashin ‘Crab restaurant concept in Hendersonville, TN and San Antonio, TX. Michelle graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.

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

Sedrick Turner

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

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

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