Yappy Hour at Shunk Gulley

Author: Christie Solomon | Photographer: Shunk Gulley


Patio Pups went wild celebrating National Dog Day on August 26th at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar located on the iconic County Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The chef created an irresistible Tailwacker dessert to spoil Shunk’s Patio Pups on their special day. Water bowls and free belly rubs are also included in the South Patio dining experience, too. Let’s not kid ourselves – these Patio Pups are celebrated every day at Shunk Gulley!

The human version of the Tailwacker is Shunk’s Bushwacker. The complete recipe is a house secret, but we did learn that they Shunk uses Bacardi Superior Rum in this frozen, Floridian favorite.

The drink originated at the suggestion of Tom Brokamp, Restaurant Manager of Ship’s Store in Sapphire Village in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1975. He wanted a tropical variation of the White Russian to serve at the bar. Originally combining vodka, Kahlúa, dark crème de cacao, Coco López (cream of coconut), Triple Sec, whole milk, ice, and a sprinkling of nutmeg, bartender, Angie Conigliaro, named the Bushwacker cocktail recipe after a large Afghan hound, Bushwack, that had been visiting their pub while in-town with his flight attendant fur-parents for a few days.

Linda Murphy, a bartender at and former owner of the Sandshaker in Pensacola, Florida, visited the Ship’s Store in 1977, fell in love with the Bushwacker, and adapted the cocktail to fit the Florida Panhandle. Murphy substituted vodka with dark rum in her version of the frozen Panhandle Bushwacker, added chocolate syrup and garnished the top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. These days, every restaurant that sells a Bushwacker has created their own, slightly different version of the regional drink they keep to themselves.

For the most decadent human-dog dessert experience, Shunk Gulley recommends pairing the Tailwacker and the Bushwacker with their beignet fries, which are an easily shareable treat. (The majority of these beignet fries should be eaten by the human, however. Small bites and quantities for your pup will go a long way!)

In addition to hosting patrons with pups, Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar is focused on supporting their South Walton County community. With the busy summer tourist season coming to a close, employees will re-start their volunteer beach clean-up campaigns in September. The beaches in the Florida Panhandle are home to federally protected sea turtle nesting populations. When beach visitors leave trash and dig holes in the sand, they present safety hazards to both human and marine animals.

Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar has also partnered with the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) on an oyster shell recycling program that will build new oyster reef habitats for declining oyster populations. As part of the Offer Your Shell to Enhance Restoration (OYSTER) program, Shunk Gulley offers patrons an opportunity to personalize an oyster shell that will be used to build a new oyster reef with a $5 donation to the CBA.

Chad Perko, CBA’s Ecology Technician, notes that “our community is home to the Choctawhatchee Bay, that stretches 30 miles from east to west and consists of brackish waters that are home to abundant wildlife and diverse recreational opportunities, making it the lifeblood of our area’s current and future ecological and economic health… Of all the creatures that call the Choctawhatchee Bay home, the humble oyster is perhaps the most important to the bay’s health. Oysters act as Mother Nature’s water filtration system, improving the water clarity and quality, which benefits the entire bay and by extension our community.”

To learn more about the CBA, visit: http://basinalliance.org.

Tailwacker Recipe:

  • 2 oz. of whipped cream: cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract
  • Toasted coconut
  • Topped with a dog treat

Beignet Recipe:

  • French fried fritters
  • Powdered sugar
  • Caramel for dipping