The Shrimp Box: Where everybody knows his name
BY SAMANTHA MATTHEWS, NIGHT AND DAY
It is far from surprising that for Steven Hirzel standing behind a bar and talking to people is the exact location where he finds himself most comfortable.
“I feel like as soon as I was tall enough to stand behind [a bar] I was pouring coffee at the local breakfast spot for quarters with my mother working alongside me,” recalls Hirzel.
The bar he stood behind happened to be in the OB Diner in Point Pleasant and served as a 10-year-long job for Hirzel as he worked alongside his mother. During Hirzel’s college years he started waiting tables at the Shrimp Box and after a couple of years of serving seafood, he made his way to slinging drinks behind the bar.
“I feel like family is the one word I would use to describe the Shrimp Box,” he said. “It’s a great place to work. The family that runs it is second to none.”
Today Hirzel is in his 12th season at the Shrimp Box and he finds himself wearing a lot of hats, which include managing the bar, doing all the orders and all the menus and mixing delicious cocktails.
Hirzel enjoys concocting unique cocktails and can be caught behind the bar using a blow torch on fruit to perfect a cocktail garnish.
The Shrimp Box is a place where he’s able to try new things.
“They [the owners] treat me like a son, give me the freedom to try creative, fun stuff like that [melon mule], that might not always fit our profile but is driving in new customers and people who are into the craft cocktail scene,” he noted.
Another perk of the job for Hirzel would be the location. “Office with a view is pretty nice too,” he said with a smile.
Hirzel admits he wants to be the best at whatever he’s doing and mixing someone a cocktail does not fall short as he treats bartending as seriously as he treats anything else.
“I think there are certain philosophies as a bartender that are important like understanding your customer and their desires and needs; filling that hole whether it’s a conversation or a bad joke; whether it’s a cheap drink, whatever it may be,” he said, “leave them happier than when they walked in the front door.”