Greenville’s new clam shack is a pearl

Greenville’s new clam shack is a pearl

Outdoor dining at the Kountry Clam Shack, a new addition to the menu at the Kountry Kitchen, 10 Smith Ave., includes seafood favorites like clamcakes and chowder, lobster rolls, calamari and more using locally sourced ingredients. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – While most quarantine projects are long-avoided tasks, the Delos brothers at Kountry Kitchen have cooked up a much larger project: Smithfield’s first outdoor clam shack.

According to Thierry Delos, he and his brother Lionel have wanted to kick up the night business at Kountry Kitchen, located at 10 Smith Ave. in Greenville, for years since taking over the business from their aunt and uncle, Pierre and Mary Clare Delos.

Using time off during the COVID-19 quarantine, the brothers decided it was time to finalize a nighttime dining plan for the underutilized kitchen. Both avid seafood lovers, Delos said a clam shack was the best idea.

“We both really wanted to do it,” Delos said.

The front parking area was cleared for picnic benches with umbrellas and a take-out kiosk. The Kountry Clam Shack opened last Wednesday, June 24, the day after receiving approval for outdoor entertainment from the Town Council.

“This is something we have not had. I’m excited to have this in town,” Town Council President Suzy Alba said at last Tuesday’s council meeting.

Customers are raving about the food, Delos said, and are even happier to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Since opening outdoor dining, Delos said regulars often opt to dine outside during the morning service.

Delos said the clam shack has been “crazy busy.” He said he hoped that doing a soft opening would give the kitchen and waitstaff time to work out kinks, but that did not happen.

“It’s beyond our expectations,” Delos said.

“The support and incredible business we’ve received is heartwarming,” he added.

The Clam Shack relies on family recipes from years of running a family restaurant. Delos said the shack has everything a person looks for in a clam shack, from clamcakes and chowder, steamers, stuffies, lobster rolls, snail salad, crab cakes, calamari and more. He said the fried whole belly clams are his favorite.

There are also non-seafood options, such as hamburgers, steaks, and chicken fingers.

As many ingredients as possible are locally sourced, Delos added. He said Kountry Clam Shack offers locally crafted beer, wine and liquor to complement the meal.

Delos said it is essential to a local, family-owned business to support its community.

One of the best aspects to opening the shack for Delos was hiring 25 new staff members, including servers, bartenders, hosts, bussers, kitchen staff, and cleaners during the pandemic. It gave the team a morale boost following earlier layoffs.

The live entertainment is local, Delos said. Smithfield resident Lainey Dionne sings on Wednesday nights and Lauren King sings on Friday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. He plans on rotating Saturday night entertainment for local artists.

Delos said the restaurant had permits for outdoor dining and could have served in the lot regardless of the coronavirus pandemic’s new restrictions.

He hopes to add a raw bar of oysters, crab legs, littlenecks and shrimp cocktails in the coming months.

Delos added that the morning service at Kountry Kitchen is still going well. The kitchen closes an hour earlier, open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, to prepare for the Clam Shack at night, he said.

The Kountry Clam Shack is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. for full-service dining and take-out.

During inclement weather, the dining area moves inside, Delos said, adding the Clam Shack will remain open through the winter by moving indoors.