Vote for the Best of the Bay Awards 2018! Go Vote Now

Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack opens Baybrook location

January 2nd, 2019

By Rick Clapp

The legendary “King of Crawfish” Alan Franks and business partner and friend, Paul Latour, have created another exciting Louisiana Cajun watering hole and eatery.

The original Crazy Alan Swamp Shack, which opened in 2010, is located near the Kemah Boardwalk. It has enjoyed steady growth and developed a good reputation of being a well respected restaurant with great drinks and fresh quality seafood at a fair price.

The new Crazy Alan Swamp Chic Shack is located at the Baybrook Mall area on Bay Area Boulevard. This new Cajun mecca features a fun and festive environment. As you walk into the Swamp Shack you will feel like you are entering one of New Orleans unique restaurants. The atmosphere is very eclectic, well decorated, and has a nice relaxed ambience.

The alligator bar, located at the center of the restaurant, is a great viewing area. It is fully stocked and loaded with call liquor, high quality spirits, and a variety of cold beer and wine. A most unique section is the restaurant’s Kids Zone. This area provides a place for children to play video games and state of the art computer games. In the meantime, parents can partake of a little adult time and relax while they enjoy their food and beverage.

Alan’s Crazy Swamp Shack was the creation of the indefatigable Alan Frank and Paul Latour. These two have different styles and have successfully created a winning restaurant concept. Both self-made men have worked hard. Franks started in 1982 as a barback at Cotton Eye Joes, bartender at Jason’s, and became owner of the renowned entertainment center Seabrook Beach Club.

According to Alan Franks, the original Alan’s Crazy Swamp Shack created by the dynamic duo opened in 2010 in Kemah. The partnership works very well. Franks handles daily operations, marketing, promotions and le tour. Latour handles the construction and interior design and decoration of the restaurant. Alan Franks attributes his success to the extremely hard work, attention to detail, and good employees and customer relations. He commends his long time staff — Lori Holzle, Bob Deering, Christina Jonsenser, Guillermo Miranda and General Manager Otasch Kadu Pov and Assistant Manager Mike Saucada.

Alan’s Crazy Swamp Chic Shack’s menu is the same as the Kemah location with food and beverages totally consistent at both locations. Their food offering is vast and has something for the seafood lover and the land lubber. Alan’s Crazy Swamp Shack is known for its tasty crawfish during season, but there’s much more to this quality restaurant. There select and popular menu items include the Crabvacado, Crab Corn Bisque, Crab Fingers, fried or sauteed is a must. Also try the Smoked Oysters and other fresh seafood entrees. These can be prepared either grilled or fried, whichever you prefer.

They also have juicy Burgers, Creole, Cajun Etouffee, Fried Oysters, Shrimp and Catfish dishes. For a special evening, try their signature crab and lobster entrees, one of their seafood pots or the boiled seafood feast. Yes, they’ve got crawfish, which is the best of the bay. Finish your dining experience with one of their decadent desserts. Enjoy Crazy Alan’s Strawberry Cake or the Crown Royale Bread Pudding.

Also, they have rooms for meetings, events and special occasions. As the illustrious Cajun chef Justin Wilson once said, “I ‘GAUR-en-tee’ you will like the Crazy Alan’s Swamp Chick Shack.”

We wish Crazy Alan’s Swamp Chic Shack success. Let’s support one of the Bay Area’s best. Crazy Alan’s Swamp Chick Shack at Baybrook is located at 1330 W. Bay Area Blvd. Friendswood, TX.77546. PH. 832-284-4895

A Cajun Mecca

June 1st, 2014


“Crazy” Alan Franks

By Rick Clapp

If you are looking for an authentic Cajun cooking shack right out of the swamp, on this side of the Texas/Louisiana line, then venture no further than to Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack in Kemah.  This laid back and fun eatery was the brain child of good friends and business partners, the dynamic night club maven Paul Latour and the always fun and high spirited Alan Franks.

The Swamp Shack celebrates its 4th anniversary this month, thanks to all of their loyal customers and employees.  Owner Alan Franks always boasts about his employees and co-workers who have been with him for many years –Lori Holze, 1996; Jennifer Bowman,1997; Guillermo Aranda, 1999; Christina Jorgensen, 1998; and Bob Derring, 2005.  Experience, quality food and good customer service is the key to any successful establishment.

“We are always training and striving for perfection,” Franks said.

Owner Alan Franks is single, an avid golfer, skier and loves to work out and travel.  He began his career in 1992 at Cotton-Eyed Joe’s, Jason Brown’s Saloon, the Turtle Club and operated the famous Seabrook Beach Club.  His sons Blake, 19, and Jacob, 15, are a big part of his life.

It is all about Cajun seafood at Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack.  Without a doubt they are known for the earliest arrival of crawfish in the market, as well as the last place to get them at the end of the season. Diners can enjoy spicy crawfish starting mid-November, all the way until the end of August.
Furthermore quality, not just quantity, of these delicious mud bugs comes first.  There is “nothin’ betta” than a warm afternoon, about five pounds of seasoned bugs and your favorite ice-cold beverage.  As the famous Cajun Chef Justin Wilson would say “I guarantee cher, it’s good!”

Another popular seafood delicacy are the five versions of smoked oysters on the half shell; parmesan, pontchartrain, mango/salsa, mexican and pico.  For those who just like it raw, try a fresh dozen on the half shell. Served on a bed of ice with a spicy cocktail sauce, it will set you free.  And don’t forget to try the award winning Gumbo.

The Shack is filled with delectable appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, stuffed jalapenos and the delish Crabvocado.  The vast menu is filled with Cajun seafood delights from fried or BBQ gator bites, shrimp and oysters diablo, red beans and rice, swamp chili, crab corn bisque, sliders, juicy burgers, crab pots, boudin, andouille sausage, fried seafood, Cajun stuffed steaks, pork chops, creole style etouffee, surf and turf and lobster on occasion.

Signature dishes and favorites include blackened chicken pontchartrain, blackened trout medallions wrapped with stuffing, topped with blackened shrimp and served with a pontchartrain sauce. C’est tres Bon!

Desserts galore! Try the mud pie, crown royal bread pudding, lily pad key lime pie and more, and the bar is fully loaded with well and top shelf liquor, good wines and ice cold beer.

The dynamic duo of Alan Franks and Paul Latour made their dream come true by successfully creating and operating a fun, quality family restaurant that both locals and tourists call home.  The original Alan’s Crazy Swamp Shack is located near the Kemah Boardwalk and overlooks the picturesque, sailboat and yacht filled Kemah Marina. Live music plays every day and twice on the weekends.

Franks and Latour both thank the Kemah city officials, police, Mark Kane and Jim Whitecotton of Landry’s and the Kemah Boardwalk for keeping the area a safe, clean and well-run family destination.

Congratulations to these two wild and crazy “In-Spirit Cajuns” on their 4th year of operation and the opening of the new Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack located in Houston.

In summary; the prices are moderate, the restaurant is clean, staff is attentive and polite, the food is very good and served hot.  Reservations are not needed.  They offer both catering services and take out.  For more information call 281-334-5000 or go to