Shell Yeah! Hog Island Oysters Expanding

It's a match made in hog heaven.

Hog Island Oyster Co. partners Terry Sawyer, left, and John Finger have seen their Marshall-based business near Tomales Bay grow from a $500 investment by the Finger family into an enterprise that sells about $10 million in bivalves annually and employs about 120 people.

Soon, you won’t have to be shellfish about getting a waterfront seat for your Hog Island oysters.

On Tuesday, the 160-acre Tomales Bay oyster farm announced the acquisition of nearby Tony’s Seafood Restaurant in Marshall. The iconic waterfront restaurant owned by three generations of the Konatich family closed in January when brothers Anton and John retired.

The merger will allow the popular Hog Island Oyster Co. to greatly expand its  footprint on the coast—something fans have long been clamoring for.

“Acquiring Tony’s Seafood is an exciting opportunity to serve our growing demand of oyster lovers and to expand Hog Island’s menu options in Marshall,” said John Finger, who co-owns Hog Island Oyster Co. with Terry Sawyer. The company has gone from a $500 investment in the early 1980s by the Finger family to a multi-million dollar company.

Fans of the the Marshall oyster farm were shell-shocked when Hog Island’s Boat Oyster Bar cafe was forced to require reservations and and limit patrons to 90 minute seatings to alleviate long lines and extensive waits. The closures of Drake’s Bay Oyster Company and Tomales Bay Oyster Company’s picnicking area have created ever-increasing demands by oyster connoisseurs visiting the north coast.

After a brief revamp, the restaurant is slated to reopen sometime this summer with the historic Tony’s name and menu classics like seafood Louie salad, linguine with fresh shellfish, fish and chips and hamburgers remaining on the menu.

Hog Island will put their own touches on the menu as well, expanding the oyster bar and adding fresh local catches that have become hallmark of the nearly 35-year-old company. Hog Island Oyster Co. also operates oyster bar/restaurants in San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow Market in addition to their Marshall farm.

Tony’s has been a long-standing institution in Marshall,” said Finger. “We are honored to carry forward their family legacy with our own Hog Island touches.”