Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar founders Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook have closed the downtown location, 109 Market St., in preparation for a move to 127 N. Front St, while the owners of a Leland franchise of the eatery held a soft opening Monday.
The owners said they had been looking at potential sites downtown for about a year, having outgrown their original space. With only five tables and a 49-seat capacity, the space limited the amount of customers they could accommodate. The new space, formerly home of Betsy's Crepes
, is expected to seat closet to 100 guests, with indoor and outdoor dining options.
“Everyone is really excited about having a larger, more up to date space with the option of outdoor seating on Front Street as well as overlooking the river,” Matt Piccinin said.
Tyler Pegg and Cody Cress of The Cress Group of Coldwell Banker Commercial SunCoast represented Shuckin’ Shack as the tenant agent in the lease transaction.
Piccinin said that renovations will begin at 127 N. Front as soon as final permits are granted. Plans call for the installation of a 40-foot bar that will seat 21, and have a raw bar built into it. New flooring and some additional cosmetic work are planned, and Piccinin anticipates an April opening.
While Piccinin and Cook own and operate the downtown and Carolina Beach locations, 11 other Shuckin’ Shack locations are franchisee owned.
Leland franchise owners Sarah and Mike Lookingbill opened their Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar location this week. Sarah Lookingbill has been with the company since it opened its first restaurant in Carolina Beach in 2007, and has spent the past several years working for the firm as a corporate trainer.
Lookingbill said that when the Villages at Brunswick Forrest announced plans for a new building with restaurant space, she felt it was the right time for she and her husband to have their own location.
The Leland location, 1175 Turlington Ave., Suite 101, has a horseshoe-shaped bar with 20 seats and an additional 50 seats throughout the dining area. An outdoor bar is still under construction and is expected to open later this spring.
“We are so excited to bring fresh seafood, high-quality spirits, and ‘a good shuckin’ time’ to Leland and all of Brunswick County,” Sarah Lookingbill said.
Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar in Leland is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, with the full menu available all day.
Shuckin’ Shack has plans for six additional units to open this year, including in Jacksonville and Little River, South Carolina.
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