Crumps rebuilds

In this July 2019 file photo, Crumps Landing is under construction. The iconic waterfront restaurant, which reopened Thursday, has the backing of county planners for an expansion.

Nearly a year after fire engulfed Homosassa’s most iconic tiki destination, the party on the river will soon begin again.

Crumps Landing, a popular restaurant and bar, is set to reopen at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 21, after a long road of rebuilding and delays due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Claudia Ratcliff, assistant general manager at Crumps, said she “is absolutely excited.”

“I love this place with all of my heart,” she said. “It’s going to be pure joy seeing all these people back in here the way it should be.” 

The reopening comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed for 50% capacity at Florida restaurants in full phase one of COVID-19 reopening.

The Crumps Landing tiki structure and restroom facilities were damaged by a fire on July 13, 2019, which was believed to have started in a mobile cooking trailer at the restaurant at 11210 W. Halls River Road on the Homosassa River. The large fire went viral as Citrus residents and passersby posted videos of the blaze on social media.

No one was injured, and the gift shop and little bar by the river obtained no damage, however, the devastating fire left 139 employees without jobs and the facility closed for 11 months.

Located on the same property as the old KC Crump restaurant that burned down in 2004, Crumps Landing features a large tiki bar restaurant, two bars, gift shop, playground, small beach and a variety of live entertainment.

Except for some tweaks to the venue, the place will look much as it did before, said Crumps general manager Bryan Craig. There are some menu changes and a new craft beer line for patrons.

“It will be sort of a quiet grand reopening,” Craig said. 

Contact Chronicle Community Editor Gwen Bittner at 352-563-3224 or gwen.bittner@chronicleonline.com.