Restaurant celebrates ‘Gator Hater’ week ahead of Vols rivalry game


ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) – “Gator Hater” week is in full swing, leading up to the big Tennessee-Florida rivalry game Saturday.

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel visited one local seafood shop that’s getting in on the action and celebrating the “Gater Hater” tradition.

The Shrimp Dock has been doing so for 20-plus years.

They cook and sell alligator all week long – as a way to have some fun with the rivalry and show some team spirit.

“Try to sell as much of it as possible to anybody that wants to help us beat the Gators,” said manager Joseph Rue. “Gator raw to take home and cook, we have fried alligator in the stores, we have a gator gumbo made by our soupmaker, smoked gator and pork sausage that’s probably my favorite of all, it’s really good on the grill.”

It’s a tradition they’ve been serving up for decades now, and one that keeps Vol Nation coming back for more.

“The demand has been very high this week, not as high as it would be for a home game, but it’s still been very, very strong,” said Rue.

Expect things to stay busy for The Shrimp Dock in the hours leading up to game time, but what all of this really boils down to is showing team spirit.

“Big rivalry, so we’re looking to see them win this time,” Rue said.

The Shrimp Dock is expecting a busy start Saturday morning, if you want to go grab some gator before kickoff.

They’ll start their fryers early and open up all three locations – in Alcoa, Farragut and Bearden – 30 minutes before they usually do, at 9:30 a.m.

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