Casual, family-friendly restaurant, Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar & Grill, believes in following the “heart of a servant” mentality to keep customers coming back time and time again.
By: Stephanie Kusy
Photography by: Paul Marshall
Relaxing atmosphere, great service and delicious made-from-scratch food is what you can expect when stopping by Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar & Grill, a North Padre Island restaurant. Oh, and very large portions – a real bang for your buck, according to co-owner Kim Parlasca, who never wants her customers to go home hungry.
Kim and her husband, David, own PAR Restaurant Group, which also manages Surfside Sandwich Shoppe, a smaller venue with an open kitchen and a relaxed island vibe. It was the “island lifestyle” that lured the couple and their two children to Corpus Christi from Hobbs, N.M. Shortly after opening Surfside, the couple decided they wanted to “go big.” David had the vision, but it wasn’t the right time. Kim says they waited for a “God opportunity” versus a good opportunity.
David searched high and low for a larger property on the island, but just wasn’t finding it. But then, a door opened to take over an existing nightclub, and Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar & Grill was born in late 2009. David came up with the unique name because it resonates with the military community. The term refers to a navy slang where sailors would exchange gossip on the ship while getting a drink of water stored in a scuttled butt. It’s their largest operation to date.
The name is fitting. On any given night, crowds will gather to hear local live music. “We always try to build something we would want to go to – that’s it,” Kim explains. “So a place we would have fun – a place that we would enjoy. One of my biggest kicks is seeing a 3-year-old having fun up to a 99-year-old sitting at the bar with the 20- and 30-somethings having a great time. That’s a great place when anyone can walk in and feel comfortable, and the hospitality is there and we’re happy to see you, that’s where you want to go – that’s what we want to create.”
In tune with the island lifestyle, every day boasts an impressive happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. – every single day. Waiters serve up pints from their impressive premium draft beer wall at happy hour pricing, as well as house wine and margaritas. Most popular, though, are their sushi rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp and oysters selling for half off the regular price.
“When you’re doing that kind of volume, you’re pumping through your product,” Kim says. “It keeps your product fresh because you’re moving it, and that’s what you should be doing. We’re excited we have a busy sushi bar. That’s the way it should be.”
While the menu is extensive (sometimes referred to as a “novel” by customers), Kim keeps the dishes simple and delicious. Fresh Ahi Tuna comes out served on a sizzling platter mixed with lime, garlic and butter – just three ingredients, yet it continues to be a fan favorite. The couple believes in making all their meals from scratch – from homemade dressings, to sauces to desserts. “Because of our choices, you can definitely make everyone in your group happy,” Kim says. “No more arguing about where to go.”
The owners also pride themselves on keeping it local. They purchase fresh seafood from vendors such as Groomers and King Seafood.
The restaurant industry is the home and heart of the Parlascas because it brought them together more than 20 years ago. Fresh out of college, Kim started working in management at a restaurant. Shortly after, she met David, who also worked in management. After the couple married, they owned a café and liquor store in New Mexico.
But after 10 years, David wanted a change of pace from the desert, and he asked Kim if she wanted the mountains or the beach. She replied, “I don’t do cold.” So they started searching the Internet for the next up-and-coming beach communities. They found Port Aransas, and David fell in love because it reminded him of South Florida, where he grew up 20 years ago.
Five years later, the restaurant is still going strong with close to 100 employees. “We’re large, but we’re still family owned. My desire is to instill within our people the ‘heart of a servant’ mentality. You have to have a heart of a servant if you want to succeed in the industry. Having that ‘heart’ means that you put others’ needs above your own every time, you treat people the way you want to be treated and you genuinely care about people.”
Their passion for people keeps them striving to become better every day, both professionally and personally. “We feel blessed to be a blessing.” And they hope to continue doing just that.
Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar & Grill is located at 14254 SPID, No. 311, and is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call 361-949-6769 or go online to www.scuttlebuttsbarandgrill.com.