Shuckers Oyster Bar & Grill
The Shuckers Story
I begin every new hire orientation with this story….Shuckers Oyster Bar is an icon of the Wake Forest and Triangle area. When we acquired it, they had been around for 23 years.
It was a small local favorite that served fresh seafood and made you feel like you were truly sitting on the beach. It was a favorite of my mom and dad's.
Kevin grew up in a restaurant family. His grandfather owned restaurants, his uncle owned restaurants, and he began at an early age working in his Mom and Dad's restaurant in Myrtle Beach, The Ship's Bounty. It's in Kevin's blood. Never classically trained as a chef, but undoubtedly knows what he likes with regards to food. Kevin's imagination allows him to invent new ways of doing the most sought-after popular dishes such as our best-selling Shrimp & Grits and our homemade Banana Pudding topped with fried bananas. He's been studying ingredients, recipes and cooking procedures since in middle school. You couple that with his drive to build something all his own, and you have a man crazy enough to start his own venture in the restaurant business. "You'll never know what you are capable of if you don't try."
I just happened into the restaurant business. I joined Outback Steakhouse in 1992 during my last year in college. I knew I always wanted to be a lawyer since watching my mom work in that field all of her life. I decided right after college to follow the Outback new store openings that were happening one after another all over North and South Carolina. It was just a little hiatus for me to travel a little bit, meet new people, and get both the adrenaline rush and satisfaction that a new store opening brought. After the third opening, I never thought about the law field again.
Not too long after losing both of my parents to cancer, Kevin and I decide to go sit at Shuckers... the original one on Capital Boulevard and have a few beers. Interestingly enough, the owners informed us of the fact they were soon losing the lease on that land and closing Shuckers. Kevin literally looks at me and says "Let's buy the name and do our own thing." He knew what something like this would mean to me. Shuckers being my parent's favorite place for so many years, I couldn't think of any better tribute to them. I am forever thankful to Kevin for finding a way to honor them like this.
Now 2024, we've had the "new" Shuckers Oyster Bar & Grill in the ever-so-supportive Heritage community in Wake Forest for 15 years. We employ around 85 incredibly talented people. These people aren't our workers, they are our family. They make us who we are. They truly get our simple vision of creating our favorite restaurant. Their attention to detail, commitment to doing things right, and their intense desire to indulge the customer is what has kept us growing year after year. We see to it that we provide an environment where people genuinely want to work. When we hire, we tell them we aren't hiring them for a 6-month stint; we are looking for years. And because of that, we have had the majority of our people more than 3 years and a large handful for more than 10. Again, they are our family. "Surround yourself with amazing people, and the rest will take care of itself." We guide our business in the same fashion that we do our personal lives; work hard, play harder, and laugh as much as humanly possible. For all of you who were a part of teaching Kevin and I along the way, we are better operators for what we have learned from you. For all of the customers that have supported us for the past 15 years in allowing us to have the dream of owning our own business, we are forever grateful. You are a huge part of why we love what we do. We undoubtedly have THE best clientele out there. For all of you who are on our team (our SOB's as we call you), who work tirelessly to pull off the perfect night or the perfect event, all while doing so with amazing attitudes...for becoming our family...for helping us raise our children, for allowing us to be involved with your lives and family, for laughing with us on a daily basis, we cherish you. You all not only allow, but you make us able to be strong business leaders, great community partners, and most importantly involved and happy parents to Kaden and Madden. You all are our People. It's really been an astounding ride. We look so forward to spending the next 15 years with you and see what great things it brings.