By: Courtney Dabney
Lauren Hadley, Isaac Hadley, Mary Barrus and Jordan Barrus with their children.
Soon Coco Shrimp groupies won't have to paddle out too far to get their shellfish fix, when the food truck opens its first brick-and-mortar location at 318 Bryan Ave. — the same building as Gypsy Scoops ice cream.
The cozy, 1,200-square-foot space, which includes a patio, will continue serving Coco Shrimp’s signature Hawaiian-style shrimp plates. The truck serves four varieties, including its namesake, Coco Shrimp, hand-battered in sweet coconut and then deep fried. All plates feature shrimp atop seasoned rice, with a side salad and housemade creamy ginger dressing.
Coco Shrimp is adding at least one new menu item when the restaurant opens — shrimp tacos, made with flour tortillas lightly fried and filled with the customer’s choice of shrimp and a sweet and spicy sauce, as well as a cilantro lime sauce.
For dessert, Coco Shrimp serves mochi — that Japanese dessert staple, which wraps pounded and sweetened rice around ice cream. Some flavors are traditional, like mango or green tea; others go far afield like chocolate peanut butter, raspberry white chocolate or chocolate espresso. Co-owner Jordan Barrus says the restaurant will add an even bigger selection of mochi when the brick-and-mortar opens. Coco Shrimp will also serve craft sodas.
As far as the space’s design, expect a surf-shack vibe with plenty of surf boards, Barrus says.
"It will have a backyard feel, with shiplap and old brick on the walls ... kinda like you might find in someone's garage on the North Shore [of Oahu]," he says.
Hawaii is where Barrus and co-owner (and brother-in-law) Isaac Hadley met — both were students at BYU-Hawaii. There, they fell in love with the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle, as well as the Polynesian culture and cuisine. When they came back to their hometown of Fort Worth, the two decided to open a shrimp truck just like the ones on the North Shore.
Fans began following the Coco Shrimp food truck when it first surfaced about three years ago. The home base for the truck has been the Ace Hardware parking lot on Basswood Boulevard, and recently the truck has made regular appearances at Locust Cider on South Main Street, near what will be their new home. Coco Shrimp has also landed on Yelp’s Top Five Local Food Trucks list, meaning they have tons of good reviews.
As for the brick-and-mortar, Barrus says they “optimistically plan to open in early June.”
By: Courtney Dabney