Recalling ‘gratifying’ 14-year ownership

Dangels sell The Shrimp Dock; Burleson is back

The three area locations of The Shrimp Dock, including 11124 Kingston Pike in Farragut, have a new owner who is familiar to Town customers.

Phil Dangel and wife, Becky, long-time Shrimp Dock owners, sold the seafood restaurants/shops — also at 5210 Kingston Pike, Bearden and 321 S. Calderwood St., Alcoa — to Randy Burleson, owner of Aubrey’s restaurants who owned and operated a location in Town, 102 S. Campbell Station Road, for 30 years.

The sale became official Monday, May 9.

The Dangels owned the Farragut location for 14 years, the Bearden shop for 13 years and the Alcoa location for 10.

“I promised David Smoak (Town administrator) many years ago I would help get Randy Burleson back to Farragut,” Dangel said. “I can rest easy now knowing I did so.

“I couldn’t have picked a better person for The Shrimp Dock,” he added. “Randy has an outstanding reputation and a handle on how to run a business. He will be a great steward to continue The Shrimp Dock.

“I think Randy will expand The Shrimp Dock and grow it, and I think that my youngest son put it best when I went to him and told him who was buying it. His reply was, ‘If I could pick one person in all of Knoxville to buy The Shrimp Dock and continue the legacy, it would be Randy Burleson.’”

“I’m excited to continue the pursuit of this great partner for Aubrey’s and am excited about continuing to bring fresh fish to Knoxville,” Burleson said.

Reflecting on their ownership, Dangel said, “Although I would deny it, the Farragut store is my favorite store of all The Shrimp Docks because it was our first.

“Just watching it grow and being able to stay open and serve Farragut through the pandemic has been gratifying,” he added. “I would not use the word ‘fun,’ but we held on to our entire staff, stayed the course, and we think that means something to the community.”

As for what prompted the decision to sell, “I was 75 years old in January,” Dangel said. “It’s time to fade away.

“There comes a point where I worked 54 years (and) it’s time to go see my grandchildren and enjoy the time I have left,” he added.

Dangel recalled his favorite memories at The Shrimp Dock were with customers and his long-time staff, among them his manager, Jeff Shields, his father, Allen Shields, and cook/Sunday specialist Steve Presnell, all employeed at the Farragut store since its opening in 2008.

He also cherishes the memories of being part of the former Farragut food festival and relationships with Town of Farragut officials.

“Becky and I live in Farragut and hope to for many years to come,” Dangel said.

The business exchange started in December when Dangel was having lunch with his two children, “telling them that I was putting the company up for sale in January and that I expected it to take a year,” he recalled. “And Randy walked by, pointed at me and said, ‘You and I need to have lunch one day after Christmas.’

“We met Feb. 1, at 2 p.m., and within 15 minutes had a deal,” Dangel added. “He was, by far, the easiest person to strike a deal with whom I’ve ever dealt. “I will still be part of the organization a few days a week for Christmas through the transition, and I foresee nothing but positive changes to The Shrimp Dock,” he added.

The shops supply fresh fish and seafood, along with cooking instructions, seasonings dinner plates and more.

The Farragut location is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 865-777-3625 or visit online at