Bubbles and bivalves are the tasty concept behind Oyster, a new Parisian-style seafood and sparkling wine restaurant coming to The Barlow in Sebastopol this summer.
For months, owner Jake Rand searched the county for a second location for his popular Japanese restaurant, Sushi Kosho, already at The Barlow. But as the pandemic strained the restaurant industry with staffing shortages and supply-chain issues, he realized a large restaurant wasn’t the way to go.
Instead, he leased a small 400-square-foot space just a few feet from Sushi Kosho, where he’ll open Oyster this summer.
The focus at Rand’s new restaurant will be on sparkling wines from around the world, oysters and a curated seafood and shellfish menu, including moules-frites, scallops a la plancha and fried oyster po’ boys. An open kitchen will occupy much of the interior space, with a small bar for prix fixe tastings. The more expansive outdoor patio seats up to 40 and will serve the full menu and a selection of by-the-glass bubbly, including rare vintages. The restaurant also will offer takeout.
“Sushi Kosho is very chef-driven, but Oyster will be more about socializing, small plates, a la carte sharing and just popping in, Rand said. “This just fits the times. People can take out and sit on a bench, take it home or have a one-on-one experience inside the restaurant.”
Sustainable aquaculture is part of the message Rand hopes to convey through the restaurant, by educating consumers about the benefits of sourcing farmed shellfish and oysters for marine habitats. The filter-feeders help to keep ocean water clean, sequester carbon and help to protect shore land from erosion.
“I think ocean farming sometimes falls into a negative context. If people heard more about the parallels between sustainable agriculture and positive ocean farming, I think it might shift some opinions,” Rand said.
Oyster will open at 6761 McKinley St., Suite 130, Sebastopol.