Serena Wagner is ready for another chance at a second grand opening of the Pirate Ship. This time, she said she’s better equipped to handle the pressures of running a restaurant.
The Pirate Ship, located at 495 Greenbrae Drive just off Pyramid Way, is re-opening after being open for two months and then closing, which Wagner said actually worked to her advantage.
“I guess, looking back, it was a blessing in disguise that we closed because we had a lot of lessons to learn,” she said. “It was our first restaurant, we had too many employees, we had cooks that quit the day we opened and had too big of a menu.”
Although seafood was the theme before, Wagner said she and co-owner Jerry Watkins worked hard to recreate the menu that now offers Caribbean, or island food, as she called it.
“I call it that because of the boat because it’s obvious if you’re going into a boat, you’re going to have seafood, and I love reggae myself,” Wagner said.
One of the popular items, Wagner said, is coconut-battered fish and chips. Other dishes have oceanic names, such as Queen Anne’s Revenge, a shrimp sandwich and Blackbeard’s fish tacos.
Wagner said she has worked to incorporate some organic ingredients on the new menu, whereas during the first time, everything was organic. The Shiver Me Timbers specialty salad includes organic lettuce, tomatoes, bleu cheese, mixed nuts and Caribbean jerk chicken.
“We’re not able to do all organic like we did before,” Wagner said. “Unfortunately it was too pricy.”
The adult menu ranges from $5.95 to $11.50. The kids’ menu offers $5 meals that include a treasure box with a gift inside.
Wagner, who previously owned an event coordination business called Perfect Events and is a real estate agent, said the opportunity to run a restaurant was too good to pass up since she and Watkins knew the owner and “the price was right.”
This time around, The Pirate Ship has four employees, including Wagner and Watkins. Their 15-year-old son also helps, which Wagner said will provide quality time together.
In the midst of hard economic times, Wagner remains optimistic that the Pirate Ship will stay afloat.
“The restaurant business is tough,” she said. “We’re going to keep our prices low so people can afford it. I’ve heard that ... if you have a business that can survive a recession, you have a thriving business.
“This will be a true test of how good a business we’ve created,” she said. “It’s definitely scary for us. We’re hoping the community will come out and support us so that we can survive and not surrender.”