Shoal Creek Tavern owner crafts gastropub with decades of food industry experience

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James Verfurth cut his teeth in the food industry at age 16. Moving up from dishwasher to eventually graduating from the Culinary Institute of New York, Verfurth now owns two restaurants in the Highland Village and Flower Mound area—most recently Shoal Creek Tavern at The Shops at Highland Village.

With approximately 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry in Highland Village, James Verfurth considers Shoal Creek Tavern and his other restaurant, Verf’s Grill & Tavern, the culmination of his years working in the food scene.

“It’s very gratifying because they’re the type of restaurants that I would want to go to and enjoy and relax at,” Verfurth said.

Shoal Creek Tavern’s interior is dotted with fireplaces, and the back wall doubles as storage for various types of liquors—characteristics that Verfurth says puts it under the gastropub
classification.

“This definitely has a little bit of old-world Europe in it—the old fireplace, the hand-scraped hardwood floors, the leather seating and booths,” Verfurth said.

Verfurth said Shoal Creek Tavern also attracts sports fans with its full NFL package and TVs throughout the building.

“We don’t really call ourselves a sports bar, but we are a fantastic place to watch a game,” Verfurth said.

And although Shoal Creek Tavern has a variety of drink options from its wrap-around bar, Verfurth is particularly proud of the food offerings.

“We spend a tremendous amount of time on food. We are chef-oriented,” Verfurth said. “We are very, very good at seafood.”

In an effort to get the word out about those menu items, Verfurth has realized the importance of maintaining a strong social media presence.

“Our chef will get a sea bass in and butcher it, and we’ll make a video and he will show you exactly what the special is going to be that night, and you have a chance to see it live,” Verfurth said.

Verfurth also works as a consultant for Sysco Foods and says his background in the food industry combined with his consulting career has equipped him to provide a quality product.

“I would put our food up there with anybody’s,” Verfurth said. “I think there is a lot of confidence there in what we serve.”

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Gavin Pugh
Gavin got his chops as a reporter when he was editor-in-chief of the Baylor Lariat. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Baylor University and has since come on board as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition. His beat includes transportation, Plano ISD and municipal government.
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