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Shells reopens after years in Carrollwood

By Danielle Hauser, Times Correspondent
Published: December 7, 2017 Updated: December 7, 2017 at 11:15 AM
The Shells menu includes a variety of shrimp and seafood pasta dishes. Photo courtesy of Shells.

CARROLLWOOD ó A beloved and well-known seafood restaurant has re-opened in Carrollwood.

Founded in 1985, Shells became a popular restaurant with locations around the Tampa Bay area. After an unsuccessful nationwide expansion, the company closed down all of their locations in 2008, except for the one located in South Tampa.

Over the past several years, John Christen, son of Shells founder who is also named John Christen, has reopened Shells restaurants near USF, in Brandon, and St. Pete Beach.

"Itís good being family owned again," Christen said. "You concentrate on the food and you concentrate on the guests."

Shells offers a large menu that includes a variety of fresh seafood, pasta, steak, and sandwiches.

"We do an assortment of fresh fish," Christen said.

Oysters on the half shell are served raw or steamed, and lobster and crab legs are available.

A $3.50 drink special is offered all day, every day. This includes domestic drafts, house wines, wells, margaritas, rum runners, hurricanes, and sangria.

Since re-opening in Carrollwood, Christen said the response has been great, even without doing any advertising.

"So far weíve had a very warm welcome," Christen said. "Itís primarily been word of mouth."

Shells is located at 14380 N Dale Mabry Highway. It is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday & Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call (813) 450-2929, or visit

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