If you spend a day at the Outer Harbor (on land or on the water) then you’re going to want to become familiar with The Shanty Shack. The Shanty Shack is operated by Andrew McLellan, president of Environmental Education Associates. Upon first meeting Andrew, I just figured that the guy was simply a freewheeling sailor who was looking to be as intertwined with the water as possible… which is partially true. Later, I was fascinated to find that his entrepreneurial pursuits were so diverse.
As for operating The Shanty Shack, Andrew told me that he took over the small operation three years ago, and has big plans for the ‘cuter than cute’ shack. What started off as a tiny enterprise, selling suntan lotion, chips and a few other General Store type sundries, is starting to branch out in its ambitions. “I’m about to light up the grill,” said Andrew. “This afternoon I’ll be cooking up sausages, burgers and dogs, and salmon steaks. I also sell ice cream, snacks, and soda (best sellers). But next year I would like to have beer, so that more people can sit out at one of the picnic tables, enjoying the waterfront.”
Along with beer, Andrew talked about having some live music, which would add to the surf style nature of the lakeside hut. Currently Andrew and his mates play Beach Boys recordings on a Jam Box. Along with the surf tunes, the grilling and the ice cream, Andrew has also added bike rentals to his repertoire ($10 an hour). The shack is situated right alongside an expansive bike trail at the Small Boat Harbor (Outer Harbor State Park). The perfect ride might look like this:
Hop on the bike (near the boat launch and Dug’s Dive), and take it up to Wilkeson Pointe. Then go a bit further on Fuhrmann Boulevard and hop on the Bike Ferry. Take the ferry to Canalside, and then explore the Inner Harbor. From there, head back out Ohio Street (all new bike lanes) and over the Ohio Street Bridge (also outfitted with new bike lanes). Once you cross the bridge you would find yourself right back at The Shanty Shack… easy breezy!
In the future, The Shanty Shack will offer charter boat tours out to the South Buffalo Lighthouse (circa 1903), which is being restored this summer. If you can’t wait until next year, then you can arrange to lease a charter sailboat this summer by simply calling 716-880-5154. Park your car, load up on supplies, and head out on the water with one of the Seven Seas Sailing charter captains. “I picture this little spot as Buffalo’s Venice Beach,” Andrew said. “I’m also thinking about getting a juice bar started. I want this place to be eclectic and somewhat exotic – the type of atmosphere that you would not expect to find at the Outer Harbor. People who come to visit can go biking, sailing, or simply sit around and enjoy themselves sitting on our grassy knoll.”
The Shanty Shack | 1111 Fuhrmann Boulevard | Buffalo, New York | Facebook