Local Small Business Stories
Quahog Republic's Captain's Den Lands in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Quahog Republic's Captain's Den on Main St. in Plymouth.
Article and photos, unless otherwise noted, by Eric Hurwitz. Article
created on 11/7/17.
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Some seafood restaurants are just a shell of themselves by
relying on past reputation rather than keeping standards high, but not
Quahog Republic has drawn in faithful, dedicated crowds through the years at its Onset,
Falmouth and New Bedford locations with, for starters, its incredible
raw bar, lobster rolls, chowder, creative over-the-top drink
selections, good value for the money, and, most importantly, a
steadfast business and customer mission to "Live, Give and Relax" (more
on that shortly). Recently,
co-owners Erik Bevans and Tom Hughes
opened a fourth location -- Quahog Republic's Captain's Den -- in the
heart of historic Plymouth on Main St. Formerly a
Persey's Place location (breakfast
destination), Quahog Republic moved in and created a masterful
makeover including wood floors replacing runner carpets, brick walls
displacing paneling throughout the restaurant, hanging lights providing
warm ambiance, high-top tables, and a beautiful
long, horseshoe-shaped wood-block bar serving as the visual
The attractive bar at Quahog Republic in Plymouth.
And for those that miss Persy's Place, good news: The bacon on the menu
remains, but, like the Plymouth Quahog Republic, has a new location --
in this case, reappearing in a Bloody Mary with sun dried tomato, whole
garlic, roasted poblano pepper, olives and infused vodka...
Quahog Republic Bloody Mary.
Quahog Republic's Captain's Den ultimately possesses good restaurant
business genes, therefore, setting the foundation for customers
to enjoy the pilgrimage to its Plymouth location. Bevans, 43, a
restaurant industry pro and Cape
has spent many years perfecting the art and science of his craft and
career -- generally working his tail off at restaurants going all the
way back to childhood. As a restaurant career highlight prior to Quahog
owned the former, highly-regarded Mashnee Island Grill and Beach Bar
for 12 years
in Buzzards Bay.
He, along with Hughes, spent many years growing up on Cape Cod digging
for quahogs, fishing, boating, swimming, and genuinely
enjoying the magic of Cape Cod where a sense of community was
well above "C-Level" (sorry for the bad pun). The question is, how to
infuse a bit of that close-knit, friendly Cape Cod coastal
The answer: by serving delicious local seafood
and great drinks, providing customers a place to find respite from a
stressful world, experiencing a positive, "happy place" atmosphere, and
back to the community. The owners, wait staff,
customers and those doing business with Quahog Republic almost seem "as
one" in the restaurant -- that is, the atmosphere naturally
forces one to relax where the experience comes across like a community
welcoming party and beloved, familiar hometown hangout.
"Everyone is treated the same here," said Bevans, who is also known as
"You can be a customer who takes out the trash or be selling a million
company. It doesn't matter who you are, you are welcome here. We are
more than a restaurant. We are a culture."
Tom Hughes and Erik Bevans, co-owners of Quahog Republic.
For a while, though, Bevans wondered about his specific career
direction. After the Mashnee Island Grille and Beach Bar closed, Bevans
open a restaurant "with an engaging family environment that also
happens to sell drinks" He came up with the name Quahog Nation as a
possible business, but the Quahog Republic name was actually born in
the most unlikely place: posh, leafy, landlocked Brookline, Mass.
"One night, I was talking to the owner of the Washington Square Tavern
in Brookline and wondered what would it be like for a bunch of quahogs
to get along," said Bevans. "I said it would be like a 'quahog nation'
and he said, 'No,
it would be more like a quahog republic.'"
Bevans kept that name to himself for three years, eventually realizing
he "needed to jump on it. I thought, you need to live life to the
fullest, give back to the community and relax, and I then decided to
restaurant with that philosophy."
Bevans and Hughes met by chance met while digging quahogs at Cape
Cod's Popponesset Bay and quickly formed a close
friendship even though Bevans cringed every time Tom said the word
"quahog." (pronounced co-hog), as stated on the Quahog Republic web
opened the seasonal Quahog Republic in Onset across from Onset Beach in
2009, The Quahog Republic Dive Bar in Falmouth in 2010, and the
Quahog Republic Whaler's Tavern on the charming cobblestone North Water
the New Bedford Whaling
District in 2015. Quahog Republic's presence soon became well-known
with Bevans and
Hughes never content to just to have "another restaurant."
"We are not your cookie cutter restaurant," said Hughes. "We have
assimilated into the towns we have businesses in, and people seem to
really love it."
"Some might compare us to the Conch Republic in the Keys (Florida), but
that's just a party place," said Bevans. "We wanted a place
kids could come with their parents, too. We are a family-friendly
The lobster roll is a great starting point when ordering from the Quahog
Republic Plymouth menu.
The small serving (pictured below) comes across as a large, and the
large version would be an extra large if there was such a category.
It's known as "The Monsta Lobster Roll," on the menu. Add
some separate warm butter, Parmesan truffle fries and the meal is to
Lobster roll from Quahog Republic.
"Lightly does it, don't shred it!" said Bevans, of the lobster roll.
"Our lobster roll is all tail, claw and a little knuckle and and very
little dressing. We serve ours on a buttered brioche bun. Sourcing is
hardest part because everyone is doing it (serving lobster rolls).
Sourcing is a big challenge, but we do it right. People love our
The humongous fish and chips dinner takes on a different recipe route
with its cornflake-almond batter, and the result is absolutely fabulous
with the tender fish combined with the unusual breading. The
perfectly-formed fries and homemade cole slaw perfectly complement the
Fish and chips from Quahog Republic.
The creamy quahog chowder also takes top honors as what comes across as
one of the best chowders on the planet with amply-served clams and red
bliss potatoes, as well
as applewood smoked bacon used instead of pork fat to create optimal
"The quahogs are bigger in our chowder as opposed to what you usually
with the chopped kind at other restaurants," added Bevans. "This is so
Quahog chowder from Quahog Republic. Photo credit: Tom Hughes.
And of course, the raw bar serves as a main culinary attraction with
selections like oysters from Maine and littlenecks from nearby
Barnstable on the Cape. The other menu choices, however, make it
hard to choose like the "Lobsta Grilled Cheese" with ample lobster
pieces combined with American, Swiss and Cheddar cheese within white or
wheat bread. Other popular dishes include: Shephard's Pie, half-pound
burgers, quarter-pound hot dogs, kale soup, flat bread pizzas, and
salads in which you can add lobster! Some popular drinks on the menu, in addition to the Quahog
Republic Bloody Mary: a great permanent and rotating selection of draft
beers, a cask-aged Mai Tai, and the New Engand Cranberry Mojito
with Privateer rum, cranberry sauce (cranberries sourced locally from
Ocean Spray), mint and fresh lime juice topped with soda water.
Quahog Republic's Captain's Den in Plymouth also offers a brunch on
Sundays from 11:30
a.m.-2 p.m., that includes a bacon, egg and cheese melt, lobster egg
and cheese melt, brunch plate with three eggs, four strips of bacon,
tater tots and buttered toast, and, of course, Bloody Marys.
A warm, knowledgeable staff helps give customers a reason to return.
bartenders/wait staff are so down-to-earth, and dedicated to making the
customer feel at home.
"Our chefs, servers, bartenders are honest, friendly and just great to
work with," said Hughes. "We are very lucky to have them."
Philanthropy serves as a main dish alongside
delicious food and drink offerings. Bevans and Hughes have established
many charity events and incentives including the LIFE Scholarship Fund
awarded annually to one or more Falmouth High School
seniors based on "life experiences and how students plan to
incorporate the Live-Give-Relax mantra into their future plans." Hughes
said that funds are raised through the annual Hog Off Fundraiser --
sampling stuffed quahogs from local contenders and then casting votes
for the best -- held every spring at the Quahog Republic Dive Bar in
The Plymouth location has flawlessly followed the Quahog Republic's
commitment to excellence, and then some. Plymouth
has one of
New England's great Main Streets (and harbor, too), filled with quaint
mom and pop shops, famous nearby attractions (like Plimoth Plantation,
as well as Plymouth Rock and Pilgrim Hall Museum both one block from
Quahog Republic) and a lively dining out scene. That Quahog
Republic seems like a long-established Plymouth restaurant despite just
starting out is nothing short of remarkable and begs the
question: Will there be more Quahog Republic restaurants on the way?
"No, I don't think our wives would be pleased with that," said Hughes,
with a slight laugh. "They are happy with the restaurants we have,
and so are we!"
Quahog Republic's Captain's Den is
located at 25 Main St. in Plymouth
MA. Tel. 508-591-7589. Web page for Plymouth location: http://quahogrepublic.com/captain-s-den/.
Web site for all Quahog Republic locations: http://www.quahogrepublic.com.
Also check out the Quahog Republic Facebook fan pages for the Plymouth, Onset,
Falmouth and New
Dining room at Quahog Republic Captain's Den in Plymouth.
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