July 2021 South Shuswap Scoop Article
The news that the Shark Shack, the iconic floating restaurant in Cinnemousun Narrows was up for sale made the news! Owner Geoff Lightle told us he definitely had his fifteen minutes of fame back in May when the realtor released the offer details. Global BC, MSN and the Georgia Straight among multiple other media picked up the story.
Keen to find out the story behind the story, (and make sure that despite the sale the Shark Shack would remain in the Shuswap) we jumped in our boat and headed to the Narrows on Opening Day to meet with Geoff and enjoy some Shark Shack Shuswap hospitality. Perhaps surprising to readers, although we have lived on the lake for five years, this was our first trip to the Shack although not for want of trying. Every time we had ventured near the floating restaurant we were thwarted by boat parking and Geoff told us that is their biggest challenge!
Originally opened in 2008 as Upper Deck Subs, the business at that time was a single barge with an order window and simple sandwich kitchen on the lower deck and the upper deck was just for seating. When the Lightle family bought the business a number of years later, they made many upgrades including adding the accommodation barge, upgrading the kitchen and the upper deck bar and eating area we know and love today. Geoff took over from his parents four years ago and has steadily been making further tweaks and improvements to ensure that guests and staff all have a great experience. We learned that he has even become somewhat of a retail expert choosing all the really fun Shark Shack logo products that are for sale in the cute gift store.
When asked why the Shark Shack is up for sale, Geoff was honest in his appraisal that he felt he has taken the Shack as far as he could and he would love to see a new investor evolve the family vision. Geoff has another very active commercial greenhouse business (don’t forget the SS is a seasonal operation) which is also requiring more of his time. As far as he is concerned, the Shark Shack is here to stay in the Shuswap and he’s excited to observe its future under new ownership.
Until then, he’s happily running the show with capable support from his team including Chef Brody who has a stake in the business and is passionate about providing the best food he can. You can just imagine how challenging it is to create and cook on a barge with supplies and storage a premium. When we stopped in to visit the immaculate kitchen, we were greeted by an all Canadian staff heralding from Ontario, Alberta and of course BC. Everyone was super excited about the new menu and we were told we MUST try the new Surfers Sandwich, house chicken (freshly made), served on toasted rye bread with arugula, roasted red pepper, Monterey jack cheese and house made basil aioli.
Fun Facts About the Shark Shack
Sited as Canada’s Only Floating Restaurant (we know, the McBarge keeps re-surfacing but nothing yet!)
All staff live on board in close but comfortable hostel style accommodation and head to shore on their days off
Over 50% of staff return annually siting it as the best job ever (we met the lovely Steph who is enjoying her 4th year on the SS and newbie Maddy on her first day)
When docking and undocking you are met by concierge style skilled deck hands who give even the most beginner operator confidence
The Shark Shack chef Brody has been with Geoff for a number of years and loves creating new menu items (check them out!!)
The Shark Shack is anchored by a 10,000 lb cement block!
We absolutely loved our first visit to the Shark Shack and we believe that regardless of ownership, it will continue to be a memorable part of Shuswap life delighting guests from all corners of the Shuswap and the world!