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New owners, same seafood: Macon staple Jim Shaw's changes hands

Previous owner Skipper Zimmerman is still on board for the time being showing them how things run
Credit: Madilyn Harrell

MACON, Ga. — The iconic Jim Shaw's Seafood Grill in Macon has changed hands, but the new owners want you to know -- the food isn't changing!

The restaurant first opened in 1987 and previous owner Skipper Zimmerman has been the man behind the curtain since then.

New general manager, Chris Barroso, says Zimmerman has been instrumental in getting him up to speed.

"There's so much stuff that goes into keeping this restaurant Jim Shaw's," Barroso said. "I'm playing catch-up, but it's been a great experience with him."

Barroso shadowed Zimmerman a few weeks before it was bought, and has worked with him for four weeks since they re-opened at the start of July.

The restaurant was bought by Richie Jones, Brian Adams and Ryan Griffin, who also own Downtown Grill, Brasserie Circa, Miramar, Piedmont Brewery, JAG's Pizzeria, and Grits Café.

Barroso is running things in the restaurant, and says they are going to try hard not to change anything.

"We're trying everything we can," he said. "The goal is not to change anything... everything works!"

There have been some problems with supply shortages like what's happening at many restaurants. Skipper is sticking around as a driver, and a helping hand when Barroso needs it.

"Skipper has created great relationships with people around here," Barroso said. "He's been a huge asset to us."

Barroso also said, without the staff, the place couldn't function.

"This transition could not be possible without the staff that are here... our servers here have been absolutely amazing, getting me trained up on what I need to know, and training my new servers that I'm bringing in here, so that we can get more people the chance to come in here and work. The kitchen guys, that is a well-oiled machine, and it could not be possible for this restaurant to open every day without those guys back there," he said.

Although tough, Barroso says he is happy to be working with such great people.

"It has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done in my life," he said. "It's something I really am excited to be a part of."

Jim Shaw's is known for good seafood, and a "unique" eating experience with both a dine-in side and a seat-yourself bar side.

"My goal is to keep everybody happy, keep them happy to keep working, and to keep the guests happy to keep coming. If I can do that, I think we'll have a successful restaurant," Barroso said.

The new owners say the "very secret" batter will still be available, and hours will remain the same.

Jim Shaw's is located at 3040 Vineville Avenue.

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