BUSINESSES IN THE NEWS
Ryan's Clam Shack at 152 Gore Road in Webster opened without too much fanfare two weeks ago, and it has already attracted good business, especially on weekends, according to manager Christopher Moussa.
Opening a clam shack had been a dream of his for several years, but the opportunity didn't arise until the All-American Cafe went out of business recently. The Clam Shack building is on the same site as The Lodge restaurant, owned by Christopher's father Eli, who, with two brothers, bought the property in 1985. While the family itself always ran The Lodge restaurant, the smaller building next to it was rented to others as a breakfast and lunch place.
This time Christopher was there to get a new business started, and he had some good experience. He went to UMass Amherst, where he received a degree in exercise science. After interning at UCLA at its collegiate athletic training center, he decided he didn't like the field after all, there were no jobs, and there was no money in it, he explained. So, four years ago he joined his brother Nayef in operating The Lodge. Eli had bought out his brothers seven years ago, Christopher told us, and now spends just a few hours a week there doing bookkeeping. Together Nayef and Christopher manage all aspects of the business, the hiring, firing, cooking, ordering, everything, he said. They'll both be involved in Ryan's Clam Shack operations too.
The Clam Shack is a “quick service restaurant,” for people who are on the run, in a hurry, or don't want to eat alone in a full service restaurant. About 80 percent of the business has been take-out, said Christopher. Thus, it's catering to a different clientèle than The Lodge.
Ryan's specializes in seafood, of course, offering whole belly fried clams, clam strips, clam fritters, fried haddock, sea scallops, lobster rolls and clam chowder. Dinners come with fries and cole slaw, There are hot dogs and chicken tenders for the kids.
Christopher told us the clam fritters are his father's special 30-year old recipe, the onion rings are hand cut, and the corn chowder is a homemade, milk-based version. He uses milk for the chowder, rather than cream, because it makes for a thicker broth and gives it a better texture. He plans a weekly promotional special.
To finish it off, there's ice cream, the famous Bliss brand, made in North Attleboro. It's a very high end, quality ice cream, Christopher said.
And where does the name Ryan come from? It's the name of his three-month old nephew. Christopher told us a little about his family's naming traditions. Eli originally came to the US from Lebanon and a few years later brought over his two brothers. The family is Catholic, and so, while their last name is Lebanese, all the children's given names are Christian, except for Nayef's who is named after his grandfather, according to family tradition. Their other brother's name is Michael.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:15 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. and closed on Monday. Call ahead for takeout at 508-461-6416.
Christopher is glad the restaurant is open and his 80-hour work week can come to an end.
- Wednesday, 01 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News