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After a year and a half run, The Shack Pub Grub in Midtown will close on April 25th.
We had previously announced the opening of a second Shack location at 13645 Big Bend (the former Wild Agave space) but at the time were unaware the original location would be closing, so consider this a relocation and not an additional one. Regardless, the new Shack will debut by the middle of May.
Co-owner Brant Baldanza said there were no plans to close the original until he and his partners were approached by a developer, who was interested in the building and land, both of which Baldanza’s group owns.
“People think this all came down after the IKEA announcement,” he explained, “but we were actually under contract when that news broke.” At this writing, it appears the property will be developed into a multi-story apartment complex, according to Baldanza, who hinted that there was even a possibility of putting a Shack back into the ground floor of the complex.
What is known for sure is that Baldanza and Co. were allowed to remove all of the equipment, furniture, and fixtures they had installed in the original space, “which made the decision to relocate a no-brainer for us,” said Baldanza. “The majority of what was in the original Shack we have moved to Shack two.”
When Wild Agave went out of business early this year, the partners were looking for a way to protect their other restaurants (The Corner Pub and The Kitchen) immediately next door. “When Agave closed, it all came together,” Baldanza said. “It made sense to sell Shack east and re-do it out west.”
There will be differences, however.
The new Shack will be open for “breakfast, lunch (& sometimes) dinner.” Baldanza admitted that while his partners wanted to protect their restaurants they also didn’t want to compete with them, hence the breakfast hours. (The Corner Pub is open for lunch and dinner; The Tavern for dinner only.)
The Shack will be open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week, and Baldanza is bullish about it. “I can’t tell you how much breakfast interest there’s been,” Baldanza said. “Of every ten inquiries, eight have been about breakfast.”
In addition, he claims that mornings in Valley Park are “pretty nice, even in the middle of summer. I see our patio being busy on most mornings.” (Image at right, use your imagination.) We would add that there’s also not a lot of breakfast competition nearby.
Partner/chef Justin Haifley just rolled out a new menu at their newest restaurant, Cucina Pazzo in the CWE, so he can now focus on the new menu: how many kinds of stuffed French toast paninis will be offered and how much of his arsenal of house-cured pork belly, house-ground beef, and chorizo will make their way into several varieties of the slinger.
And the “& sometimes dinner” catch phrase? It translates to Thursday-Saturday evenings only, the remaining nights available for private parties. Baldanza feels pretty good about that decision, too. “We’ve already booked seven dinner events,” he said, “and nobody even knows we’re here.”
When we asked the 41-year old restaurateur if the signature sandwich—The Shack-Wich—and its “we dare you” burlier brother, the three-pound “Death Row Challenge” (below), would make the trip out west, he replied,
“No… Doubt about it.”