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North Carolina-based oyster restaurant chain plans Tampa Bay market debut

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  • | 4:00 p.m. July 24, 2023
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A Shuckin' Shack restaurant. The chain will open its first eatery in Tampa Bay in August.
A Shuckin' Shack restaurant. The chain will open its first eatery in Tampa Bay in August.
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Lutz is going to get a new eatery soon, based along Wesley Chapel Boulevard in Lutz, says the North Carolina-based Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar.

The location will be 25026 Wesley Chapel Blvd. and could open as soon as September, the company says.

As the name implies, the chain focuses on oysters. Brad Harper, who is opening the store, is a current Shuckin’ Shack owner as well as a franchisee with multiple other restaurant brands. Shuckin' Shack officials say he has decades of experience.

In a statement, Harper says the Lutz store will be his second Shuckin' Shack. His first is in Ocala.

Harper, with 28 years of experience in the restaurant business and ownership of 10 restaurants across South Florida, says he was considering investing in additional franchises when he visited a South Carolina-based Shuckin’ Shack. Harper says he enjoyed the atmosphere and soon chose to speak with the corporate team. He signed a three-unit franchise agreement.

The Wesley Chapel location will be the second of the three.

"I opened my first location in Ocala, and we have seen great success so far," says Harper. "The performance of the Ocala restaurant over the past year lends additional assurance and excitement as I open up the Wesley Chapel location."

Seeing continued demand in multiple markets, Shuckin’ Shack officials say they are targeting additional expansion in Florida as well as growth in Texas. The starting investment for a franchise is $471,750.

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar started as a 900-square-foot "shack" in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in 2007, and began franchising in 2014. Today, Shuckin' Shack has grown to 19 locations across seven states, with one in Florida. Another is planned for Ocala, along with the Lutz location and one generally planned for Florida's Space Coast, according to the company's website.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct that Shuckin' Shack is based in North Carolina, and the new location will open in September.


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