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30A Oyster is a Great Shucking Time

August 17, 2018 by Manny Chavez

Watching Oyster Rick work will flat wear you out as your hunger builds!

Rick McCurley is a virtual blur making sure no one in sight lacks fresh-shucked raw oysters, boiled shrimp, or oysters off his grill. Although he’s only been in business here in SoWal for about three years now, he’s made a huge impression on folks with his “oyster bar on wheels.” When he says he’ll “bring the Oyster Bar to you,” he’s not just whistling Dixie!

“30A Oyster is a service where we bring the oyster bar to you,” explains Rick. “We show up at your residence or business with a stickered-up truck, a trailer full of coolers and grills, we unload and when the dust settles, there’s an oyster bar there! There’s a bar, a grill, shrimp boiler, bar stools…it’s like picking up an oyster bar with a crane and placing it in your yard. So, clients can enjoy boiled shrimp, the best in oysters raw and grilled… without ever leaving home.”

If it appears that Rick is shucking his oysters super-fast, it is not your imagination…. he has several oyster shucking titles to his name including the Emerald Coast Shucking Champion, the Florida State Shucking Champion, and he has competed in Canada and Maryland.  He doesn’t compete any more, but he brings his skills with him to your party.

Rick’s set up really does look like a permanent oyster bar and clients are often sad to see him take it with him when the party is over. Point Washington residents Allen and Kristen Barnes marveled at his ability to set up and entertain all their guests at a recent end-of-summer birthday blast. He considers what he does as his craft and takes great pride in his work.

He’s part-cook, part DJ, and ALL personality as he flits from shucking and jiving to boiling his country boil (shrimp, corn-on-the cob and sausage). His music can get the crowd going and he is quick to figure out who his audience is as he is prepared to go Blues, Country, or Cajun. People tend to have happy feet at his happenings! Happy feet and happy stomachs, all possible thanks to Rick’s contagious feel for his game. He’s “on it” from the time he steps out of his truck until the last oyster is shucked. As he likes to brag, his outings are “always a great shucking time!”

Asked if eating all those oysters is what gives him his energy, he is quick to point out, “sometimes you get the energy through osmosis, just being behind every shuck, all the oyster juice provides a great momentum. I just love what I do, Shucker Love makes it all happen. As I like to point out, the “A” in Oyster 30A stands for Aphrodisiologist!”

Rick’s oysters come from Apalachicola, Cedar Key, Texas, or Louisiana with the shrimp coming locally from the Gulf. He can obtain his fresh oysters and shrimp year-round with no seasonal aspect to his service. 30A Oyster fees vary from $600-$1,200 depending on the size of the party. “Oystertainment” is included in the fees.

“There’s always something to celebrate. Birthdays, weddings, football games, family celebrations, office parties…somebody’s always wanting to celebrate something, and you never see an Oyster Bar in the style that I bring to you. I just like to help people with their celebrations. I bring a good vibe to the table and go from there.”

“I’m currently working on my expansions which will include permanent Oyster Bars in SoWal, Nashville, and Birmingham. These will be simple operations with crawfish in season, beers provided by local breweries, etc.”

Rick’s current local territory stretches from Destin to Lynn Haven, but he’s also kept busy with gigs coming from clients in the surrounding states of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

If you are a true oyster fan, “Oyster Rick” is ready to roll up to your party. No need to venture out of the hood or even your own home….you’ll want to keep the Oyster Bar!

“Everyone who deals with me is special to me,” explains Rick. “It’s always a great shucking time”

Shuck Yeah! For more information, please call 850-381-9093, visit www.30aoyster.com.

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Manny Chavez's picture

Manny has been a working photojournalist his entire career and is now writing stories/taking pix for SoWal.com. He and his wife Kris live in Seagrove and have “seen a lot come and go.” Lots of stories have been told, with lots more to come!

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