Shrimp Shack Celebrates New Location
By Wendy O. Dixon
The Shrimp Shack, specializing in peel-and-eat steamed royal red shrimp, lobster rolls, oysters and hearty seafood gumbo, has moved a few steps away from its former location on the beach side of town. Named One of America’s Best Seafood Shacks by Travel + Leisure, the shack adds to its menu, while maintaining the customer service and charm its customers love. New menu items include foods on a stick — shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage and lobster. Also new is the Shrimp Shack Poptail, a hybrid of a cocktail and popsicle. The Gelatys brand gourmet popsicle is made of fruit-infused gelato and dipped in a cup of prosecco, celebrating the best of Italy’s flavors and making a refreshingly boozy frozen treat.
The new building, designed by architect Dhiru Thadani, is located on the boardwalk near the Coleman Pavilion on the Gulf of Mexico, with spectacular views. Owners Bill and Heavenly Dawson have meticulously selected the best ingredients for their sought after menu featuring steamed shrimp, lobster and oysters from the Gulf of Mexico. The new building, with its large open piazza, features a unique design. As you enter through the open front doors of the Shrimp Shack you will note the handmade shrimp mosaic embedded in glossy black subway tiles, as well as the new crisp interior ordering section displaying Gulf shrimp, royal red shrimp, lobsters and oysters on a fine bed of shaved ice.
As seen from 30A, atop the building is a custom-designed shrimp-shaped weathervane, made by David Ferro, a New England craftsman based in Warren, Rhode Island. The process of making the weathervane involves transferring the shrimp drawing onto a copper sheet, then cutting each side out by hand. Next, each side is hand sculpted, no molds are used. This step is completely left to the sculptor’s skill. The two halves of the shrimp’s body are soldered together using a special solder that can withstand the heat of the powder coating oven. Later, the shrimp body is mounted on the spindle tube, the legs formed and attached. Ferro then forges the antennae from a brass rod, and attaches the arrowhead and tail fin. Next, the weathervane parts are placed in a powder coating oven and the black enamel is added to to complete the beautiful two-tone finish.
Under the leadership of Heavenly Dawson is the steady hand of fisherman chef manager George Eller, who has steered the Shrimp Shack for over seven years, leading his team to provide the best shrimp, lobster rolls and gumbo to their many delighted customers. All in all a visit to this eatery is a must for everyone.
Oh and by the way, save room for dessert and take home a made-on-premises key lime pie to savor later.