MAYPORT | “The Shack” is back.
Singleton’s Seafood Shack, affectionately known as “The Shack” among longtime customers, recently reopened following an extended closure for renovations, repairs and upgrades.
Longtime customers rejoiced on social media over the return of the rustic waterfront restaurant at 4728 Ocean St. that has been open more than a half-century in the heart of historic Mayport Village.
Rena Skinner of Jacksonville celebrated the birthday of her twin sons with the family’s favorite “fresh off the boat docked out back to the table” seafood dinners on Thursday — the day after Singleton’s turned on its open sign.
“It’s nice to be home again,” Skinner told the Times-Union about returning to Singleton’s.
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Skinner and several other longtime customers conceded they were concerned whether Singleton’s would reopen after being closed so long due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then the renovations and repairs.
“Been waiting for over a year [for] Singletons to open again, had lunch there today did not disappoint. The renovations are awesome and the food as delicious as I remember, service was top notch especially since they were packed with diners. So happy they are open again …” customer Ann Wozniak wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page last week.
Before the reopening, restaurant co-owner Dean Singleton told the Times-Union that his team was ready and eager to get back to serving up the Mayport shrimp, oysters, crab, grouper, triggerfish and other seafood that has been the restaurant’s hallmark.
“We love doing this. We can’t wait to get all our customers back. That’s what we’re looking forward to the most,” said Singleton, who is the seventh generation of his family in the seafood business.
The reopening has been as sweet as the plump, fresh Mayport shrimp served up at the restaurant. Customers have been lining up and packing the restaurant nightly — kicking back on the outside deck to watch the sunset.
The dockside restaurant is a “go-to” favorite of locals as well as a destination for tourists that have included celebrity restaurateur Guy Fieri of Food Network fame.
Skinner and other customers said waiting for the reopening was hard but worth it. They missed Singleton’s hospitality and staff as well as its food.
“I’ve been going there over 20 years. As soon as I knew it existed, I started going there,” said Skinner.
“It’s the best place to see the sunset and sometimes you’ll see some dolphins. It’s just a good place to go and relax,” she said.