In the modern culinary environment, restaurants are increasingly focused on the notion of giving back. Back to the community, to patrons, and to their team.
For Beverly and Jason Simas, owners of the Shuckin’ Shack in Surf City, it doesn’t stop there. This dynamic duo is committed to giving back to the environment that has enabled them to serve the freshest local seafood since 2015.
“At Shuckin Shack, Surf City we are completely committed to oyster recycling. One-hundred percent of our oyster shells are recycled and returned to local waters to create artificial reefs and stimulate the growth of new wild oysters,” explains Beverly. “We volunteer with the NC Coastal Federation when teams get together to ‘bag’ local oysters to be returned to local waters.”
The commitment to local sustainability has earned the eatery a place on the North Carolina Oyster Trail, which highlights local restaurants, oyster farmers, and eco tours that spotlight the local mollusk.
“To be listed on the trail, we had to commit to keeping the local oysters on our menu every day,” said Beverly. “That isn’t a challenge for us because we love to make our local delicacies the star of the show. The taste is amazing and they clean our local waters, so it really is a win-win for everyone.”
In addition, they also bring in oysters from locations along the East Coast, to provide patrons with a taste of oysters from areas outside the Carolinas, including Canada.
“Every day, you can sample oysters from our local waters and fresh oysters from up and down the East Coast. It’s an amazing experience,” she said. “You can also have those oysters cooked in our many oyster dishes like chargrilled oysters. A varied oyster menu was our dream in opening an oyster bar.”
But it isn’t just the locally sourced items that keep patrons coming back. According to the Simas’ the staff is by far the number one incredible reason why Shuckin’ Shack of Surf City has such a loyal customer base. According to Beverly, the restaurant has a policy of tip sharing among the staff members, which has fostered an environment where the responsibility to show guests the best time imaginable is not only shared, it’s embraced as an attitude.
“You will never hear any of our team members say, ‘that’s not my table,’ or ‘those aren’t my guests,” she said. “We are really proud of the team environment. Not only are our patrons the beneficiaries of top-quality customer service, but it really makes for an outstanding work environment for our team. And they work really hard, so it’s equally as important that they like coming to work and are proud to be a part of the Shuckin’ Shack team.”
Aside from its menu, Beverly said they work very hard to distinguish the restaurant with a “complete commitment to community charity and involvement.” Among the charities they consistently support is the Reel Housewives of Topsail Island Breast Cancer Charity Ride. For more than a decade, the Island-wide, 26-mile bicycle ride is held each fall to raise funds and help local breast cancer patients & survivors.
“We hold a sign-up kick-off party with live music, which is really a ton of fun,” she said. “We feel very strongly about giving back to the people who have patronized us over the years. That’s the beauty of a small-town community bar and restaurant – most people don’t realize how small, brick-and-mortar businesses sustain such charitable efforts throughout this country. It’s so important.”
Beverly and Jason work hard to plan events in the restaurant each month to give visitors something extra special to experience while dining. A Mardi Gras celebration will be held from February 25 – March 1 during which guests will be “transported” to New Orleans and treated to a special menu of food and drink inspired by the Big Easy.
During the week of St. Patrick’s Day, Shuckin’ Shack Surf City will be transformed into an authentic Irish Pub, complete with lively Irish music, bangers n’ mash, and green beer. According to the Simas’ EVERYTHING is going to be green!
Shuckin’ Shack Surf City prides itself on catering to both locals and tourists, providing them a place to enjoy a good time and watch a sporting event on big screens while taking in some of the local history.
Menu items are not limited to seafood. In addition to the crab legs, Ahi tuna, and seafood tacos, Shuckin’ Shack serves amazing burgers, sandwiches, salads, and chicken wings, which can be washed down with its popular Shack Attack Bloody Mary.
Shuckin’ Shack is located at 13460 NC 50 #101 in Surf City. They are open seven days a week from 12 noon – 9 p.m. For more information, contact Shuckin’ Shack at 910.803.2037.
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