Shaka Shack

Shaka Shack is designed as a surfer-friendly oasis in Millville, offering traditional Eastern Shore cooking, including all the main seafood staples, such as crabcakes, softshell crabs, oysters, shrimp and fish, but Clay Reynolds also puts his own modern spin on many of the dishes, such as with his fish and shrimp tacos, and various wraps.

Shaka Shack in Millville will open for the 2021 season on Thursday, March 4, with some additions. Shaka Shack, which was first opened on Sept. 19, 2019, by Clay Reynolds, will see some new items on this season’s menu while keeping favorites.

Shaka Shack is expanding their sweets and candy-making. This March, Shaka Shack will offer a “Find Your Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow” cake, and for Easter, Shaka Shack will once again make hand-formed candy Easter eggs. Patrons will have the option of ordering many more seasonal sweets throughout the year, Reynolds said. The amount of Shaka Shack apparel and other brand items will also be increasing.

Dirt-track racing fans will even be able to see Shaka Shack on the track this season, as Shaka Shack has teamed up with Bent Pine Racing and will be advertised on Bent Pine Racing’s Mod Lite No. 25 car.

“Shaka Shack has many more surprises in store for 2021,” Reynolds said.

Why the name Shaka? Reynolds explained that “shaka” is a hand gesture in which the thumb and little finger are extended outward from a closed fist. It is used as a greeting or to express approval, solidarity and more. In the 1960s, surfers adopted the sign from Hawaiians, and it has spread around the world. It is part of the surf culture.

Reynolds is described as a man of few words and an avid surfer, with the shaka representing the positive, laid-back vibe he expels.

“Shaka Shack offers delicious local fare that hungry surfers can afford. The recipes are family recipes, and are time-tested and delicious.”

Shaka Shack is a take-out restaurant, but patrons are welcome to dine outside on Shaka Shack’s picnic tables, which are located on a sandy beach-like setting. Patrons can take a selfie next to one of the custom-made decorative surfboards, or they can play a game of cornhole while dining and sipping on a smoothie.

“If you have a large group of surfers or groms coming over to chow down, Shaka Shack can prepare large amounts of grub for your party. Shaka Shack’s Party Menu consists of larger size quantities of items, and some items are not on the regular menu.”

Shaka Shack softshells meal

Eastern Shore favorites, such as softshell crabs, are a main feature of Shaka Shack's menu.

Many of the recipes Reynolds is using were past down from his grandparents. His maternal grandparents, Margaret and Sanford Justice, in the early 1970s started Pitchcroft Restaurant on Smith Island, Ewell, Md. Shaka Shack’s menu includes Eastern Shore recipes from his grandparents’ restaurant, including Smith Island cakes. Reynolds’ paternal grandparents, from Laurel, were also “excellent cooks” and their recipes have been passed down, too.

Reynolds said he sticks to traditional Eastern Shore cooking, including all the main seafood staples, such as crabcakes, softshell crabs, oysters, shrimp and fish, but also puts his own modern spin on many of the dishes, such as fish and shrimp tacos and various wraps.

The Smith Island cakes are all made on-premises. They are nine thin layers of cake between layers of icing — traditionally yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing. The Smith Island Cake is Maryland’s official state dessert. Shaka Shack offers many other flavors of cakes and icings by the slice or whole cake. Shaka Shack will have several Smith Island cakes available for grab-and-go but will also do custom orders with at least 48 hours’ notice. For a little something sweet to pop in diners’ mouths, Shaka’s cake balls can hit the spot.

shaka smith island cake

Shaka Shack's Smith Island cakes are all made on-premises, from  Clay Reynolds' grandparents' recipe. They are made up of nine thin layers of cake between layers of icing — traditionally, yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing. Shaka Shack offers many other flavors of cakes and icings, by the slice or whole cake. Shaka Shack will have several Smith Island cakes available for grab-and-go but will also do custom orders with at least 24 hours’ notice.

Shaka Shack offers daily specials, which they try to post on Facebook each day, but feel free to call for the daily specials.

Those who are short on time can call their order in to have it ready when they arrive, order online with the Clover App or have Door Dash deliver an order. Curbside pickup is also available.

Shaka Shack opens at 11 a.m. The address is 35308 Atlantic Avenue, Millville, next to Prickly Gal Boutique & Surf Shop. For more information, call (302) 604-0858 or visit the Shaka Shack page on Facebook.