North Texas Daily

Coco Shrimp brings a taste of Hawaii to Denton

Coco Shrimp brings a taste of Hawaii to Denton

Coco Shrimp brings a taste of Hawaii to Denton
August 22
14:00 2022

What was originally served out of an ambulance-turned-food truck is now passed around tables at multiple brick-and-mortar locations. The road for the seafood chain restaurant, Coco Shrimp, will soon lead to Denton, where it will open its fourth restaurant this fall.

The fast-casual eatery is expected to open in late September, according to Coco Shrimp partner Blaise Hadley, 61. It will occupy the former Palio’s Pizza Café at 1716 S. Loop 288, Suite 110.

“We’re just excited to get up there and get to UNT,” Blaise said. “Community is a big part of the Hawaiian culture, so we’ll be etched in the community for sure.”

Coco Shrimp was founded by brothers-in-law Isaac Hadley and Jordan Barrus in 2016. After graduating from Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Isaac brought his love for Hawaiian cuisine to Fort Worth. Since then, the brand has served shrimp-based dishes across North Texas.

Served in tacos and on beds of rice, Coco Shrimp offers flavors like “coco,” its namesake sweetened coconut flake coating, sweet and spicy and lemon herb. Add-ons such as pineapple and macadamia nuts are also available. The restaurant’s Polynesian-inspired menu aspires to share a bit of Hawaiian culture with the mainland.

Blaise said the brand offers customers a unique variety of flavors that are not widely available across the North Texas area.

“It’s exciting just because the brand draws from such a wide area,” Blaise said. “There’s pizza, there’s burgers, there’s Mexican food, there’s so many places, but there’s not really anything like this that’s just shrimp with that Hawaiian flair.”

Coco Shrimp’s atmosphere stays authentic to the North Shore Hawaiian region, according to Blaise. Decorated with live plants, raw wood walls and surfboards, the restaurant aims to keep the island vibe alive from the moment customers enter the door.

Robbie Robison, Coco Shrimp Denton partner and opening general manager, said the chain injects Hawaii-inspired values into its overall management and operations. With much of the Polynesian culture being about family, Robison said it has been easy for the restaurant to match the values and needs of its family-oriented Texas community.

“Southern hospitality and qualities go hand in hand with being part of the family in the Aloha group,” Robison said. “That’s why we try and focus on making it a big family ordeal.”

To further reflect the chain’s family values, Blaise said Coco Shrimp is closed on Sundays to provide employees time off to spend with their families. The Denton location is looking to provide 40 to 50 jobs, 99 percent of which will be local hires, according to Coco Shrimp partner Walter Cervin, 54.

“We’ve had some fantastic growth, so opportunities are endless for our staff,” Cervin said. “A big part of who we are as the community and getting out and doing what we can to support the area. It’s a big town with a small town attitude, and we’re just excited to be part of it.”

As Coco Shrimp prepares to start hiring in the following weeks, Robison said the restaurant is anticipating getting to work with others in the local area. Once the new location is officially open, he hopes to see it positively influence those across Denton and its schools.

“We want to be a valued member of our community around here,” Robison said. “We’re just here to help y’all and ensure that we’re supplying some good, amazing food and atmosphere for everyone in Denton.”

Image source Coco Shrimp

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Samantha Thornfelt

Samantha Thornfelt

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