VIDEO: Morgan’s Lobster Shack in Truckee expands to Reno
November 3, 2016
Morgan’s Lobster Shack and Fish Market in Reno, located at 1401 S. Virginia St., opens to the public on Nov. 3. Visit morganslobstershack.com to learn more about the business.
TRUCKEE Calif. — Everyone told Shawn Whitney he was crazy for opening a seafood restaurant in Truckee.
"Everyone told me I was an idiot: 'you're opening a lobster shack in Truckee California? You're a moron,'" Whitney recalled.
But after being open for barely three years in its quaint spot at 10087 W. River St. in Truckee — and surviving a small fire only a month after first opening — Morgan's Lobster Shack and Fish Market is expanding.
"We've done really well up there," said Whitney, who runs the restaurant with this wife, Heather. "People come to me now and tell me I need to open one of these in their town."
Morgan's Lobster Shack and Fish Market opened its new 3,800-square-foot location at 1401 S. Virginia St. in Reno today — Thursday, Nov. 3.
"It'll be like three restaurants in one," Whitney said during a tour this week of the new location nestled in Reno's Midtown district.
There will be a brunch menu and a late-night menu, in addition to the restaurant's regular menu. There's also a bar on the second floor of the new location, which on its own is bigger than the entire Truckee restaurant (the West River spot is roughly 900 square feet).
"There's 40 seats downstairs, 30 upstairs, 8 on the deck, 40 on the downstairs deck," Whitney said. "I am so nervous and so scared, but I am so excited for the opportunity."
Whitney said that the 15 barstools at the Truckee location fill up fast, so with the Reno location, he wanted to give people more of an opportunity to sit down and enjoy food with their families.
"I lose a lot of business in Truckee only having 15 seats," Whitney said. "I have big groups come in all the time, and there might be 15 barstools, but they don't want to sit spread out like that; they want to sit as a group at a table.
"Here, I can accommodate that and do more groups, do more parties."
Whitney said that when he first moved to Truckee, he used to say he'd never move to Reno. But recently, he's been impressed by how much things have started to improve in the city.
"There aren't many (places) like this where you can be at a major airport in a major city, and then you can be in the mountains in a half an hour," he said.
The Nov. 3 expansion comes a little more than three years after the Truckee restaurant was gutted by an accidental fire in the summer of 2013, a month or so after Shawn and his wife Heather opened the eatery.
According to previous reports, everything inside had to be replaced before reopening in January 2014 — all possible thanks to a slew of donations from the Truckee business and residents who wanted to see the New England-inspired eatery succeed.
And isn't forgetting about his Truckee roots. He told the Sun that he's considering opening an East-coast-style deli adjacent to the original Morgan's location this summer, complete with beer and wine.
Morgan's also becomes the latest Truckee-based eatery to open a Reno location over the past decade, joining popular businesses like Squeeze In, Dorinda's Chocolates and most recently Full Belly Deli, among others, to make the transition down the hill.