FLINT TWP, MI - Joe Davis Jr. has recorded music with some of the biggest artists in the world, including winning a Grammy award with rap icon Nas.
However, none of that tops his list of accomplishments.
That’s because he is the CEO of 168 Crab and Karaoke, a new seafood restaurant in Flint Township that also offers karaoke -- a combination the Flint area did not have until now.
“The goal is for people to come here and say they had the time of their life,” Davis said.
The restaurant is located in the Lincore Park Plaza, 2113 S. Linden Road in Flint Township.
The karaoke rooms are separate from the dining area, featuring 12 private rooms that can seat approximately 60 people. The rooms can also be used for birthday parties and recording sessions.
The restaurant’s overall seating capacity is roughly 400 people.
On the menu, people can enjoy a Po’Boy, a popular sandwich from Louisiana consisting of shrimp, catfish or chicken. Along with several seafood boil options, the restaurant also offers wings and cocktails such as the Zombie and Mango in Paradise.
Davis said they do not use MSG flavors, and the food has a southern influence as his father Joe Davis Sr. is from Memphis, Tennessee.
Originally from Detroit, Davis Jr. grew up washing cars before jumping into the music industry, where he’s been for over two decades.
He most notably worked with record label Def Jam, helped on the marketing side for Destiny’s Child and produced and wrote the song “The Definition” for Nas’ 2020 album “King’s Disease,” doing the vocals for featured artist Brucie B.
“The trophy is sitting at my home,” he said with a grin, noting his biggest influence was Michael Jackson. “And I didn’t know Destiny’s Child was going to be the biggest thing. I just felt like I could help them get into some radio stations and I got my feet wet. I was already a DJ anyway knowing radio stations, record stores, so it was like second nature to me.”
And Davis was close friends with rap artist Proof, a Detroit rapper and childhood friend of Eminem who died in 2006.
“That whole crew was attached to me,” Davis said.
Part of his motivation bringing 168 Crab and Karaoke was to help revive Flint after the water crisis. He’s already had a Flint connection working with music artists MC Breed, YN Jay and Jon Connor.
Davis is trying to create a similar experience locally to the Motor City.
“I think Flint is the next Detroit,” he said. “The people here deserve something like this. We’re Flint’s comeback.”
Davis used to daydream during his school days in Detroit about becoming successful.
Having achieved a successful music career, currently signed to Universal Records, the next challenge for him was trying to bring people to the parties -- which is why he got involved with the food industry.
“I really did this back in 1997,” Davis said. “When I got my feet wet doing parties and I made some real money. I made $8,000 at the door. From there on, I was hungry. Then I wanted to try to get a bar in the restaurant, so we bought Club Seven in downtown Pontiac and I ran it successfully. From then on, I’ve been involved with restaurants and bars throwing parties.”
Business hours are 3 p.m.-midnight Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. 168 Crab and Karaoke also has a location in Madison Heights, located at 32415 John R Road.
The 168 name means “good luck” in Cantonese. It’s safe to say after a Grammy award and managing a restaurant, Davis has experienced a lot of good fortune.
“I want people to know if they come here and they are good enough, they might get a record deal,” he said, laughing. “I’m always looking for talent. I’m always speaking with execs.”
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