About Wahoo Seafood Grill
OUR STORY BEGINS IN THE SOUTH...
Shawn Shepherd, owner of Wahoo Seafood Grill, grew up helping his mom cook for his six siblings. His family moved from Ohio to Tennessee to Alabama and then to Mississippi, but no matter where they lived, you could always find Shepherd learning how to create a new dishes alongside family, friends, and neighbors... anyone who would let him in their kitchen. He especially loved visiting his grandfather, who owned a seafood restaurant in Pennsylvania.
When Shepherd joined the Navy, he wanted to be a cook, but the Navy wouldn't let him because his testing scores were too high. After nearly 7 years, he was honorably discharged and he worked as a cook by day and bartender by night. Eventually, he opened his first restaurant, Shepherd's, in 1999.
He went on to operate several successful restaurants after that, and in 2013, he partnered with Butch Monaghan. Together, they opened Wahoo Seafood Grill in Gainesville followed by the Tallahassee location in 2015.
"I want to bring the coast to Gainesville and Tallahassee," Shepherd said.
"At Wahoo, we are motivated to put fresh, high-quality ingredients on our customers’ plates. That's why we butcher fresh fish on-site daily.”
Beyond sourcing quality ingredients, Shepherd stays true to his roots.
"You'll notice many of our dishes have a southern or cajun twist. They were inspired by dishes I learned how to cook when I was growing up,” he says.
Shepherd decorated the eclectic restaurant himself, and each piece - whether it’s a neon light or a repurposed street sign - has a story.
He loves the high energy atmosphere that you feel when you walk into Wahoo Seafood Grill, but what he loves even more is his pleasing his patrons.
"I love to hear a table go quiet once those plates are placed on the table," Shepherd said. "It's my favorite feeling. You see them smiling and nodding. I don't even have to ask them how the meal was. The empty plates will tell the story."
He loves watching good food bring people together. "We want you to have a good time from the moment you step inside until the moment you leave. We've got live music, attentive staff, tons of specials, great drinks, brunch on the weekends, killer seafood boils, and so much more!"
We invite you to check us out in Gainesville or Tallahassee, Florida.
Hope to see you soon!