Maggie & Smitty’s Crabnett
West End Park
Most people who dined at Maggie & Smitty’s recall the cats first before the food or surroundings. Two or three felines were always on the premises, walking around through the open-air part of the dining room. If one of them thought he had a good shot, he’d jump on one of the picnic-style tables in search of fishy orts. But they usually didn’t have to put that much effort into their quest for food. Lots of the diners would throw the cats a piece of catfish.
Maggie & Smitty’s was the most informal and cheapest of all the restaurants at West End. Although some of this can be discounted because of the low prices, a sizeable number of customers were of the opinion that Maggie & Smitty’s had some of the best fried seafood, and certainly the best boiled. They usually served boiled seafood hot—not a common practice in West End or anywhere else in town.
It was not the cleanest place in the world. The indoor dining room was more presentable for those with an aversion to flies and cats. But hardly anybody ever ate in there. The regulars thought of the alfresco aspect of Maggie & Smitty’s as the main draw.
After Hurricane Georges, Bruning’s considered moving at least part of its operation into Maggie & Smitty’s, and may have done so. But it never seemed to change until it finally closed, more a victim of the decline of West End than anything else.