Owners of the Barking Crab restaurant are seeking to expand the Boston waterfront landmark with addition of a new floating barge on Fort Point Channel.
The project would add a 1,900-square-foot barge connected to the Sleeper Street restaurant’s existing docks to increase its outdoor dining capacity.
Owner Poseidon Enterprises seeks to amend the existing waterways license from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which regulates public access and use of waterfront properties.
“The proponent’s restaurant is an institution in the Fort Point neighborhood and the project will provide additional family-friendly opportunities for residents and visitors to dine on the waterfront and access the Fort Point Channel watersheet,” the application states.
The Barking Crab currently includes a 9,736-square-foot restaurant and tented dining area. The restaurant attracts nearly 2,200 patrons daily, according to a traffic study by Howard Stein Hudson.
The steel barge would be fabricated off-site and towed to the existing docks, which provide free touch-and-go service for water taxis and the public.
Proponents considered an alternative in which a rooftop deck would be built above the existing building, but rejected it because of accessibility concerns and the potential need for additional pilings, the application states.
In a filing with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act office, developers said the floating seating won’t be used during coastal storms or floods, and noted that projected sea level rise could require the barge to be removed permanently.
Known for its signature striped tent and prominent location at the gateway to the Seaport, the Barking Crab opened in 1994, preceding the opening of the nearby John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse and the neighborhood’s development boom.