A new seafood restaurant is opening in Lightfoot, and its owners dare their customers to go home hungry.
Skrimp Shack, a budding seafood restaurant chain, has six locations between Richmond and Virginia Beach, and it will open its seventh in James City County before the end of October.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will seat about 80 people, and is situated next to A Touch of Earth in the Gallery Shops on Richmond Road. Owner Bryan Leybold said the store’s soft opening is scheduled for Oct. 24.
Founded in 2010 in Lee Hall by husband and wife Mitch and Stacey Hartman, the seafood chain claims to be “home of the fattest fish sandwich” on its website. Director of Operations John Schuszler said each sandwich contains three-quarters of a pound of fish meat.
Schuszler said Skrimp Shack offers “a lot of food at a reasonable price,” and keeps the menu simple.
Guests can choose to have most items fried or grilled, he added. Skrimp Shack offers catfish, flounder and haddock, and is also looking to expand its menu to include salads and seasonal favorites such as New England clam chowder.
The most popular menu item is the Crab Meat n Skrimp Po Boy, Schuszler said. Sandwiches prices range from $5 to $10 before tax, and guests can make it a combo with a side and drink for another $3.25, according to the online menu.
“We dare you to go home hungry,” Schuszler said.
Schuszler also said that 80 percent of Skrimp Shack’s revenue comes from take-out, but thinks the number of seats at the new Skrimp Shack will attract more dine-in guests than other locations.
Leybold, who also owns a Skrimp Shack in Yorktown off Route 17, said the ‘k’ in Skrimp Shack is not an accident — instead, it harkens back to the company’s inception.
Skrimp Shack founder Mitch Hartman used to drive down to the docks in Hampton and buy fish, then drive up to Newport News and sell it out of the back of his truck, Leybold said.
“He said no matter who it was, people never said shrimp, they said ‘skrimp’ or ‘skrimps,’ anything but shrimp,” Leybold said. “So he called it Skrimp Shack.”
In addition to Richmond Road and its six other locations across Hampton Roads, Leybold said Skrimp Shack has big plans for expansion. The company has new locations opening soon in Norfolk and another in Richmond, he said the company is considering opening stores in Winchester, Va., and Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.
Skrimp Shack also will begin operating its own food truck this fall, Leybold said.
In the meantime, Leybold said he is optimistic about the prospects of the new store on Richmond Road.
“From what I understand, up here in the Lightfoot area, the population is supposed to increase steadily,” said Leybold. “There’s a lot of traffic on Richmond Road.”
Skrimp Shack’s slogan is “The Best Fish Samwich in Town.” In a few weeks, Williamsburg residents will have the chance to decide for themselves.