Shorty Pants Lounge cooks up food and fun with a Cajun twist
by Deborah Wolfe
Tucked away in a gentle cove on Lake of the Ozarks’ 22MM, the Creole-influenced Shorty Pants restaurant has been a favorite among Lake locals and visitors for more than 15 years. The sound of waves rocking nearby docks mingled with zydeco streaming from overhead speakers melts the stress away and beckons diners to “laissez les bon temps rouler” – let the good times roll!
Enjoying waterside cocktails and savoring cuisine from a table atop the extensive wood plank deck makes it easy to do just that. Outdoor seating at Shorty Pants lounge also includes a tiki bar and a cozy fireplace setting, making it a popular year-round gathering spot. Indoor dining is served up among nostalgic photos and old-time signs lining the walls. Neon bar signs and lively bartenders light up the atmosphere and fill the air with joie de vivre.
A passion for excellence goes into every aspect of creating the one-of-kind dining experiences served up at Shorty Pants Lounge. General Manager Lance Marler credits the vision and strong work ethic of owners Mark and Brian Barrett for the restaurant’s success.
“Mark and Brian are hands-on in all aspects of the operations,” Marler said. “Whether mopping the floor or waiting on tables, they’ll get in there and work alongside all of us to ensure customers experience the best Shorty Pants has to offer.” He also praised the Barretts for cultivating a positive work culture that inspires loyalty and a commitment of quality among employees. “They treat people fairly and provide opportunities for training advancement that you don’t often see in the restaurant industry,” Marler explained. “Because of this, we seldom have a hard time hiring staff and we are fortunate to have many long-term employees.”
Executive Chef Scott Munsterman started working in the kitchen at the Barrett-owned Dog Days Bar & Grill more than 20 years ago; today he is top chef in the Shorty Pants kitchen. From the outset, Munsterman said the Barrett ownership team made every effort to ensure authenticity, even going as far as bringing an acclaimed New Orleans chef to the lake to train him in the fundamentals of creole cookery.