Peoria Seafood Restaurant returns to its roots with Knoxville Avenue location


It was time for Sandra Cabbell and her restaurant to come home.

After a four-year hiatus away from Peoria, Cabbell opened a new location for its seafood restaurant, Anchor’s Away Crab n ‘Go, at 8807 N. Knoxville Ave.

Cabbell operates an Anchor’s Away location in Springfield, going there almost daily.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the havoc it has wreaked on the restaurant industry in particular, made it decide it was time to reopen a Peoria location.

“With the way things are going, it’s probably better to be back closer to home,” Cabbell said. “A lot of people are unemployed, don’t want to work, it’s easier for us to deal with this here if we have to come and work ourselves if we don’t have workers, rather than going back and forth every day. days.”

And so, Anchor’s Away is back in town, but with a twist.

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Anchor’s Away returns with a new style

While the Anchor’s Away location in Springfield is a more traditional restaurant with a liquor license, the Peoria location is described as a “crab ‘n’ go” restaurant – with an emphasis on take-out.

Cabbell’s goal, however, is to someday make the Peoria location work the same as the original Peoria restaurant, with more emphasis on dining options.

The best sellers at Anchor’s Away are okra and shrimp and grits. But it also offers crab legs, catfish, frog legs, po’boy sandwiches, and more.

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There is more competition in the seafood market in Peoria than there was four years ago – with the recent opening of Jersey Crab in northwest Peoria and Holy Crab in east Peoria – but Cabbell is convinced that her food at Anchor’s Away can thrive.

She says her customers attest that Anchor’s Away is as close to New Orleans seafood as it gets without being in the bayou.

“If we’re comparable to New Orleans, I consider that a plus,” Cabbell said.

When Anchor’s Away arrived in Peoria, the restaurant had a chef who took care of all the recipes. He left, however, and took all his recipes with him. When Cabbell moved operations to Springfield, she says, they had to start the menu from “square one.” But she said it turned out “really nice”.

“A lot of the things we were selling were what we cooked at home and ate anyway, so we kind of had our recipes,” Cabbell said.

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Cabbell once owned World of Wings in Peoria, near the Bradley campus, but when “everyone started to enter the market for selling wings,” Cabbell and his family felt they had to do something about it. different.

“The prices for the wings started going up and we were like, ‘Let’s do something different,’ Cabbell said. sea ​​”. “

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