Shrimp Basket, the highly anticipated seafood restaurant based in Gulf Shores, Ala., has finally opened its doors to hungry Columbus-area residents.
The eatery, located at 6073 Veterans Parkway, had been shooting to make its local debut in February, but construction and hiring pushed the process into March. It quietly opened Thursday morning with a photograph of its smiling staff and a simple Facebook message: “Today is the day. Columbus, Georgia — we are officially open for business!”
Local fans are already chomping at the bit to sample the fried, grilled and steamed food offered by the regional chain. “Finally!! Love this place,” said Clint Drawdy Thursday on Facebook. “Today is the day,” said Carol Yon, while Judy Ann Lebish exclaimed, “Yay!!! Can't wait to go!!! And Debbie McBride shouted, “LOVE CRAB CLAWS!!!!!!!!”
Shrimp Basket is located on the city’s north side in a strip center development anchored by Keller Williams Realty River Cities, which includes a new Dunkin’ Donuts outlet that has been serving customers for a few weeks. The restaurant is about 3,200 square feet, with an additional 1,500 square feet of outdoor patio dining.
The Shrimp Basket menu is known, naturally, for its shrimp (to include a shrimp and grits dish), as well as a wide assortment of fried, grilled and steamed offerings of fish, shrimp, crawfish, crab claws, clams and oysters, both cooked and on the half shell.
The eatery also offers steamed platters and shrimp country boil, various po boy sandwiches, specialty seafood burgers and chicken items for those not into devouring seafood. Sides include seafood gumbo and smoked tuna dip, with salads also on the menu. Those with room left over have a choice of key lime pie or funnel cake fries.
Launched in 1993, the regional but growing seafood chain has 25 locations in south Alabama stretching north to the Birmingham area, as well as along the Florida Panhandle. There’s also a lone Mississippi eatery in Hattiesburg, with the Columbus location being the first in Georgia. Before now, the closest outlet to Columbus was on South College Street in Auburn, Ala.