SNEAD ISLAND -- Susie Trudeau's father Clyde McInnis passed away nearly two years ago and left his legacy, Snead Island Crab House, to her. Trudeau has worked since on bringing the shack back to life and turning it into the fisher's stop and shop her dad always wanted to build.
It will remain rustic and authentic, and it will still cater to boaters and fishermen.
"I want to make improvements so we can cook food and make it safer," Trudeau said.
The Snead Island Crab House's docks are pitted, loose and need replacing, and the store's roof is beginning to leak. Trudeau would like to add boat slips alongside the replaced dock as well. Her vision includes pouring concrete to create a patio next to the dock where boaters can take a break and grab lunch on their way to a favorite Manatee River fishing spot.
But now she's turning to those very boaters and other community members to help her make her father's dream come true and serve the fishing and boating community. She has started a Go Fund Me page for the shack, which she hopes will raise $75,000 for all of the renovation work.
Expenses from the loss of her father in 2014, her mother Lessie McInnis in 2009 and a "slow summer season" contributed to the crab house's disrepair.
"It is in urgent need of repairs and the funds to make that happen," Trudeau said. When Trudeau is finished paying the mortgage on the property in three years, she plans to invest the money she budgets for the mortgage each month into the shack.
When she raises enough funds, Trudeau plans to build a dock inside the space next to the store and turn it into a seafood restaurant on the water. She'd like to add fryers, walk-in coolers and freezers, picnic table-style seating and a bar area.
The Snead Island Crab House, 4104 13th St. Ct. W, Palmetto, has a retail section, a space next to the store formerly occupied by the McInnis family years ago and an adjacent office building. When the lower outside dock floods, it also floods the space next to the store.
Trudeau said she created great memories with her family and wants others in the community to be able to make memories with their own families.
Besides selling fishing accessories such as crab tongs, sinkers, fillet knives, nets, sunglasses, bait and tackle, the Snead Island Crab House keeps a variety of seafood in stock. Beyond its normal stock of stone crab claws, alligator meat, shrimp, soft shell crab, oysters, clams, mullet and blue crabs, Trudeau said she is able to order any other seafood customers ask for.
Jerome Greene, who has lived in Bradenton for 30 years, said the place is full of memories and he would hate to see it close or fall further into disrepair.
"It's just a cool spot to stop by and hang out," Greene said. He thinks he's stopped by the shack more than 100 times. "It's the spot on the river to get your bait."
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.