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August 11, 2020

An Island Paradise In a Sea of Retail

Chesterfield Towne Center is like any typical mall leftover from the 90s. A typical mix of big box retail chains and fast(ish) food franchises like Five Guys and Qdoba. That is until you turn the bend around Macy’s and hit what we refer to as the “cool kids corner.” Nestled there you’ll find Casa Del Barco right next to Island Shrimp Co., two restaurants, connected by a mid-air walkway, that seem to totally buck the standard chain trend found in the rest of the mall. Last Wednesday we checked out Island Shrimp Co. for their happy hour.

Made up entirely of bright blue-painted shipping containers, you can’t miss Island Shrimp Co. against the mostly-beige mall. When you enter, you’ll immediately notice signs that the restaurant is adequately prepared for social distancing. Hand sanitizer at the door, markers on the floor indicating where to stand and wait, and a host stand that now looks more like a box office. We also appreciated the copy of the World Central Kitchen’s Health & Safety guidelines proudly displayed on the counter. 

After we checked in with the host, we were led to our table on their covered patio and the waiter explained how to order. All ordering is done through a website that you can easily get to by scanning a QR code at your table. That means you have to stagger ordering yourself, so that everything doesn’t come out at once. It seemed like a minor inconvenience in exchange for less interaction with people.  Though we weren’t talking with the servers as much, the staff was still super attentive to our needs, constantly refreshing our water (with fresh new cups each time) and busing our empty plates and glasses. The patio was sizable and there were only 2-3 other tables for the majority of happy hour.

For our first round of drinks we tried a Bahama Mama and a mojito, both under $6 during happy hour. The Bahama Mama tasted as pretty as it looked, with a strong hint of coconut throughout. The mojito was a perfect blend of sweet and mint flavors with little to no taste of alcohol, our sign of a good drink. 

We also ordered two types of shrimp, old bay and garlic shrimp, both of which were $6 for a ½ lb during happy hour that day. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and tasty. The garlic shrimp were our favorite, dripping in a garlicky buttery sauce that made us salivate. Next time we go (because there definitely will be a next time) we want to visit on a Thursday when all appetizers are half off during happy hour. 

After we sucked down our first round of drinks, we got our phones out again and ordered a second round, a glass of wine ($3-$5 a glass during happy hour) and one of their signature Painkillers (not on happy hour, but half-off on Mondays). The Painkiller, our first ever, had a creamy, fruity taste with a slight hint of coconut. With the weather (90 degree and suffocatingly humid) and the Painkiller in our hand, we truly felt like we were on an island. Until we opened our eyes, saw Hooters, and realized, nope, we’re just at Chesterfield Towne Center.

Island Shrimp Co’s happy hour happens every Monday through Thursday from 4-5:30 pm. Specials include ½ off select beer, wine by the glass, and cocktails. On Mondays during happy hour Painkillers are ½ off, on Wednesdays, ½ lb shrimp are ½ off and on Thursdays all appetizers are ½ off. Don’t let the drive over the river or the early timing deter you. This is a sleeper happy hour ready to be tapped.

This blog post was sponsored by The HOUSEpitality Family restaurant group, but our thoughts and opinions are our own.

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