The boss lady behind Bosslady’s Famous Shrimp — real name: Nashaunda Evans-Law — describes her Northland restaurant as a “family-oriented seafood place.”
That is maybe underselling it a bit. The space includes a small dance floor, where every evening during dinner hours a DJ holds court and you might find guests singing karaoke or line dancing. There’s talk of bringing in comedians on certain nights, a jazz band on others. On Tuesday, a side room was draped in a rainbow of nylon — a deflated bounce house, the aftermath of a children’s party held there over the weekend.
“We want to offer kind of an interactive experience at the restaurant,” Evans-Law said.
Evans-Law, who opened Bosslady’s Famous Shrimp in August at 6245 N. Oak Trafficway, is a nurse by training. To pay her way through nursing school, she sometimes cooked for friends and classmates. Word spread about her seafood and soul food, and Evans-Law eventually worked her way into smaller catering gigs: churches, small weddings.
In 2014, after graduating from nursing school, Evans-Law worked five 12-hour shifts a week at the Gregory Ridge Living Center while catering on the weekends. She took classes and learned how to cook crab legs, lobster tails and various kinds of fish. Then she started her own home care business, Life Changes, which she still owns. She set aside some of the profits for a restaurant she planned to open: Bosslady’s Famous Shrimp.
“It’s an old nickname I’ve been called since I was younger,” Evans-Law said. “They said I was a bossy kid. And a lot of my staff (at Life Changes) call me that too. I just kind of ran with it.”
The North Oak Trafficway location is actually the second Bosslady’s Famous Shrimp. She opened the first last year at Independence Center, in a space formerly occupied by an Applebee’s.
“But there were problems with the mall,” Evans-Law said. “There was a shooting there the first month we were open, then the roof caved in and they wouldn’t fix it. We opened in May and closed at the end of October.”
No such issues on North Oak Trafficway, she said. “We just finished our first month, and it’s been better than any month we had in Independence.”
At the Northland space, which was formerly a Chinese restaurant called North Dragon, the Shrimp Feast (shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage, served in a bucket; $35) has been a big seller so far, Evans-Law said. “It’s a pretty full pot,” she said. “A lot of people share it, but if you’re a serious shrimp person, you might be able to finish it just yourself.”
The shrimp alfredo pasta ($15; steak alfredo is $19) and the Caribbean shrimp (unpeeled spicy-sweet shrimp with your choice of two sides; $22) are also popular, Evans-Law said. Sides options include broccoli casserole, asparagus and loaded potatoes.
Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. They’re closed Monday and Tuesday.
Evans-Law said the space is available for events and private parties after business hours and on off days. She’s trying to organize a Halloween get-together with the other businesses in the strip mall.
“I like parties,” she said. “I like looking out on the dance floor and seeing one of our servers dancing with the kids, distracting them and letting their parents sit and socialize. That’s the kind of place I want this to be.”