“He said, ‘Shuck me,’” Curci recalled hearing from his friend, whom he had not spoken to in 20 years. “And I said, ‘Shuck Me? I’m not going to work for some place called Shuck Me.’”
However, when Curci decided to check out the restaurant, he fell in love with it and the Haverkamps—so much so that he left his job as the vice president of operations for another restaurant in Fort Worth to serve as a chief operating partner for Shuck Me.
“I thought, ‘OK, this is really something,’” Curci said. “I was impressed.”
But before Curci came along and Shuck Me opened, Roger was running part of H&H Concrete On Demand Inc. out of a building right by his Southlake home, Curci said. After a friend approached Roger about starting a restaurant, that building was transformed into the first Shuck Me restaurant, located in Southlake.
The restaurant’s Fort Worth location became its third after the second opened in Hochatown, Oklahoma.
As the story goes, according to Curci, the name “Shuck Me” came to be when the restaurant was still in the works. Roger got a call one day that one of his H&H drivers wrecked a brand new truck mixer, which cost about $300,000.
“He was with a bunch of people, and all he could think [to say] was, ‘Shuck me,’” Curci said. “And somebody said, ‘Hey, oh my gosh—that’s the name of your seafood restaurant.’”
Quirky name aside, Curci said what sets Shuck Me apart from other seafood restaurants is its authenticity, as the Haverkamps fish competitively and decorate all the restaurants with family photos and fishing decor.
“It is literally a passion project of Roger and Monica,” Curci said.
Out of everything on Shuck Me’s diverse menu, Curci said they’re known for their fried catfish. Shuck Me offers fried combo baskets, which include different ratios of catfish, shrimp and oysters.
Curci said he’s heard “more than once” that Shuck Me has the best lobster chowder in the world. And while the restaurant does not consider itself a Cajun restaurant, it offers a variety of Cajun items on the menu, such as Jambalaya.
Shuck Me is opening two new locations in Austin and Denton, Curci said. The Austin location will open before Christmas, and the Denton location will open in early spring.
“[Roger] always says he doesn’t care if they make money—he just wants them to be successful and to have good reputations and for people to come in and enjoy it,” Curci said.
Shuck Me — 9560 Feather Grass Lane, Fort Worth. 817-803-4300. www.shuckme.net/index.htm Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.