The Shanty

About us

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Our Mission

The Shanty is a modern American restaurant pairing local farm fresh ingredients with unsurpassed service in a comfortable ‘locals” atmosphere. We offer a great variety of craft brews and classic cocktails with a hint of eclectic. We strive to educate and inspire through food by letting the local ingredients shine.

Owner and Operator Kara Neisinger

Kara was born and raised in upstate New York. She got her start in food service at the early age of 16. Paying her way through Johnson and Wales by serving tables, she obtained her bachelors in food and beverage management. After college, she moved to the quaint town of Wickford, Rhode Island where she managed the Tavern by the Sea for 5 years. Seeking out ways to hone her skills in fine dining, she moved to Foxborough to manage Davios. Karas hunger for adventure and desire to spend time with her brother drew her to the great north to the beautiful Kenai Peninsula. She stumbled upon the majestic town of Girdwood, Alaska where she became the dining room manager of the local’s rustic, friendly, and forward thinking restaurant Jack Sprat. There she aided in promoting events including course dinner tastings paired with local Alaskan craft brewers, champagne and wine. Her heart strings soon started tugging her back to her roots in New England as she bid a fond farewell and headed back east, accepting a position at the historic Whitehorse Tavern in Newport. Her love of the industry pushed her to follow her dreams of owning and operating her own business. She can now take all of the things she loves most about the industry and serve it to the local Rhode Island community of Warwick.

Restaurant Manager Amber Fraleigh

Amber arrived in Rhode Island to attend Salve Regina as a business student. While obtaining her degree she worked in a few of Newport’s most elite establishments such as Castle Hill, Ocean Cliff and The White Horse tavern where she resided as the Event Coordinator and Assistant General Manager for just under four years. Upon working at the oldest tavern in America, she met Kara and they created an amazing working relationship. As Kara left to open The Shanty, the two stayed in contact and eventually the roles of boss and employee quickly reversed. In October of 2014 Amber became Kara’s second hand, whether it’s concocting specialty libations or serving at The Shanty she loves being a part of the guests experience.


The Shanty - Rhode Island - About Us - Chef

Executive Chef

Sean McDermott was born and raised in Rhode Island which has allowed him to hone his understanding of local and fresh ingredients. His respect for food and those he works with make him the ideal Executive Chef at a restaurant full of localvores. Growing up, his great Grandfather and Grandmother taught him the proper way to prepare ingredients he worked with. From a young age they gave him the understanding he has today for classic recipes as well as new and inventive dishes. Sean graduated from the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center for Culinary and Baking arts while working in restaurants around the state for over nine years. He has worked at The Shanty since opening day and has advanced from line cook, to sous chef, and now the Executive Chef. In his down time, Sean enjoys hiking and adventuring around Rhode Island to see what the state has to offer.


Sous Chef

Austin Graham was born into a military family constantly moving around the country before settling in Saginaw, Michigan. Here he discovered his love for the culinary arts. As a recent graduate from Johnson & Wales, Austin could not be more excited for this adventure as a Sous Chef. He began his residency at The Shanty as a part-time line cook while in school, and slowly advanced to lead line cook and currently Sous Chef. From a young age, Austin would compete in culinary tournaments which has made him one of our most valuable kitchen employees. These competitions helped mold Austin into a detail oriented fast paced worker. In his down time, Austin enjoys playing rugby and testing out all the different cuisines Rhode Island has to offer.


Founding Friends

Bekah Yoder and Chris Rattaro arrived from Alaska where they worked together at Jack Sprat to create dishes using the best ingredients from “The Last Frontier.” During their time there they used local produce, dairy and fish to whip up some of Alaska’s best fare. At the Shanty they are excited to work together again and use the best ingredients New England has to offer. Our dishes will be seasonally inspired.

Chris Rattaro

Was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loved cooking at a young age and was mainly inspired by his Grandmother who made some amazing Italian home cooking. By the age of 13 Chris knew he wanted to pursue cooking as a career. After he finished high school he enrolled in a culinary program and immediately started working in kitchens. He has worked in many great restaurants throughout The City, Bay Area, and Napa Valley including The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. After leaving Napa Valley he traveled North in search of adventure and to work with Alaska’s great seafood. Chris landed in Rhode Island to work with great seafood and learn the east coast traditions and food culture.

Bekah Yoder

Was born and raised just outside of Portland Oregon in the Columbia River Gorge. Soon after graduating high school she traveled north to Alaska where she fell in love with the beauty and the small town life. Cooking was always a passion passed on by her mother who is almost never seen without an apron on. The culinary profession has aided in her travels from Oregon, to Alaska, Utah, and now the beautiful ocean state of Rhode Island. Working again with her favorite leadership team from the last frontier.

From our kitchen to your plate, happy eating