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About Shrimp Boat
Who is Captain Joe and What is so special about his Shrimp Boat?
If you don’t know Captain Joe, then you just haven’t been to the Shrimp Boat yet. In 1989, Captain Joe set up an umbrella, scale, and a couple of chairs just outside of a box truck along the side of the highway. He set out to sell the freshest shrimp in Ocean City at the best price. Customers had to receive their education first in why cooking shrimp with the heads on kept the juices and flavor inside. This is a 10-second class and always ends with a Free Sample for graduating. Captain Joe says, “Try it before you buy it. I want people to know they are getting the freshest product possible.” The next year, he started selling his shrimp out of the back of a boat along Rte. 611 where we stand today. He is often quoted as saying, ” I’ve owned fifteen boats in my lifetime and this is the only one that has ever made me money!”
What started out as just shrimp quickly expanded to meet his regular customers’ desires for fresh seafood with clams, crab meat, and crabs. Today it is now the most extensive line of seafood options like stone crabs, hand-cut sushi-grade tuna fillets, and live lobster. Over the years many nieces, nephews, and even Joe’s own kids worked at the Shrimp Boat as word spread and business grew. In 2009, the first kitchen opened to allow customers to take home the fresh seafood already prepared. Joe quickly outgrew it and added a second, larger kitchen in 2010. The original kitchen is now a state-of-the-art crab room with pressure steam pots to get hot crabs out fast. After much fan fare to get Joe to add seating, Captain Joe’s Restaurant opened in 2012 which offered a full menu, beer and wine, and comfortable seating. In 2013 Captain Joe turned over the day to day operations to his nephew, Joe White who worked at the Shrimp Boat from a teenager through college. Captain Joe himself is still a regular working out of the back of the boat selling shrimp or sitting in one of the chairs out front telling fish stories. So nothing has changed. 2013 saw several new features such as our outdoor seating area featuring up to 24 seats with umbrellas, our outdoor bar waiting for area adjacent to the restaurant, and draft beer tap system featuring local brews too. We have now begun to see our third generation of regular customers; many grew up with the Shrimp Boat their whole lives as a local or regular stop on long weekends and family vacations. Our customers are very special to us, we never take their experience of fresh seafood and great service lightly. However, we are the fortunate ones to have so many interesting characters sit in our chairs out front over the last 30 years and tell their fish stories.
Some fun facts about the Shrimp Boat and Captain Joe’s Restaurant.
The current “Shrimp Boat” is actually the third incarnation of the boat. The current boat was custom built in 2011 with a built in refrigerator box, 4 ice coolers, sinks, and wireless internet connections. The Crab room is fitted with 3 huge custom built crab pots and a wall steamer which can steam up to 7 bushels of crabs at a time. Our draft beer system is capable of holding 9 drafts of the most popular brews including some local favorite micro brews such as Evolution.