Business Boom Drives Needed Expansion at Shuckin’ Shack | Real estate and development

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Thanks to an expansion, it might be a little easier to get seafood in downtown Frederick.

Famous seafood restaurant Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, located at 41 S. Market St. in downtown Frederick, recently completed a nearly two-month renovation and expansion process that saw the bar take control of a connected showcase. Owners Wade Newman and Eric Weller said the expansion will provide new opportunities in addition to welcoming more guests.

“We only had 62 seats on the (original) side and people were constantly being turned away for dinner,” Newman said. “It’s hard to get in and sit down and dine with only 60 seats in a busy downtown area.”

Shuckin’ Shack, which celebrated its sixth anniversary this week, took over the space most recently occupied by the Artifacts Glass Gallery, before the gallery moved upstairs in the same building. Shuckin’ Shack now occupies roughly the same footprint as Griff’s Landing, a bar and restaurant that previously occupied the space before closing in 2014.

According to Newman and Weller, once you take into account the new interior space and the soon-to-be-completed patio along Citizens Way, Shuckin’ Shack will comfortably accommodate about double the number of people it was once capable of. .

“It’s been huge for us from a restaurant perspective, where we can now accommodate everyone,” Newman said.

The newer part of the Shuckin’ Shack is larger than the old one, allowing the company to install a second bar, more seating and, possibly, a small stage for performances.

longtime friends

Weller and Newman believe part of the key to the Shuckin’ Shack’s continued success stems from their lifelong friendship; the couple said they have known each other for most of their lives and are practically family.

“A lot of people come in and say, ‘Hey, is your brother here today?’ “Weller said. “And I’ll be like, ‘My brother? He’s not… oh, you mean Wade. ”

It was their friendship that led to the eventual opening of the Shuckin’ Shack. Technically a franchise restaurant, Frederick’s Shuckin’ Shack was the first to open outside of the company’s native North Carolina. It remains the only Shuckin’ Shack in Maryland.

They said the opportunity to open the Shuckin’ Shack here arose when the couple initially considered opening a restaurant in Washington, DC.

“Eric’s father lives in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, where the original Shuckin’ Shack is located. Eric and I were trying to open our own type of restaurant in DC,” Newman said. “We always loved going to Shuckin’ Shack, and since we decided to do our own thing, that’s when Shuckin’ Shack decided to start the franchise.”

While Shuckin’ Shack is ostensibly a chain, Newman and Weller said the parent company encourages the creation of a unique community-driven experience at each Shuckin’ Shack. They said that leaves Frederick’s location unique from others and, for all intents and purposes, its own thing.

They said part of the “thing” that makes Shuckin’ Shack so successful is the unique feeling it has.

“It’s a laid back environment; it’s a fun atmosphere,” Newman said. “I’m not hitting the white tablecloth by any means, but it’s just not that feeling. They can come in and have a good time. We have many loyal customers whom they see regularly.

“We encourage our employees to be themselves,” he said. “We look for good personalities, real personalities and I think in some restaurants you tend not to see who that person really is when you get service from them because they have their server in front of them. We don’t really believe in it; we want people to have real interactions while taking care of their customers. »

Once the renovations are complete, Newman and Weller said it provides many unique opportunities in the space that simply weren’t possible before.

“I think the biggest thing about having this side is almost like it’s a separate place, a separate restaurant,” Weller said. “So we can completely split up and do trivia and live music on one side and our normal business on the other, without them interrupting each other. We’ve tried trivia on the other side in the past, and it was hard to do because you basically had to close it to people who just wanted to do trivia.

Newman and Weller said they plan to have live music every Thursday, and the bar is gearing up for a New Year’s Eve party, where a $100 ticket will give attendees access to live music, appetizers, an open bar and a champagne toast.

Follow Patrick Kernan on Twitter: @PatKernan

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