Jul 19, 2023 - Food and Drink

Smash hit Oyster Oyster opens Shaw bar

The Oyster Oyster team in Shaw. Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez

The Oyster Oyster crew is expanding (chef Rob Rubba, second from left). Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez

One of D.C. hottest restaurants du jour, Oyster Oyster, is opening a casual Oyster Garage in Shaw on Thursday.

Why it matters: The waitlist for chef Rob Rubba's Michelin-starred tasting room now stretches months thanks to a flood of national awards, but the adjoining bar is open for walk-ins at a gentler price.

What's happening: The garage takes Rubba's plant-centric, hyper-seasonal, oyster-loving approach and packs it in a fun lil' 17-seat bar. Expect Sicilian-style pizzas, local oysters — the vegan exception at both restaurants since they're good for the Chesapeake Bay — natural wines, and native beers/ciders.

  • Also: Vintage pinball machines.
Oysters and bread at Oyster Oyster
Oysters, wine, and fresh-baked deliciousness. Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez

Flashback: You may feel déjà vu. A version of the garage (which is actually an old garage) functioned as a temporary hangout spot as the team navigated opening during the pandemic.

How it works: Oyster's ethos is deeply rooted in local and sustainable ingredients and practices — so no lemon wedges with Chesapeake bivalves (imported citrus is a no-go), but yes to tangy house-made cocktail vinegar infused with tomato and horseradish.

  • "It's wonderful being connected to the restaurant because we can use byproducts and upcycle things," says Rubba. "What we're building can work every day."
The Oyster Garage in Shaw with vintage pinball machines
Like your '90s garage, with oysters and pizza! Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez

On the menu: Crunchy vegan "grandma slices" ($8) that nod to Rubba's Jersey upbringing, loaded with seasonal treats like peak summer tomatoes.

In your glass: Some cool wines including a Slovakian pet-nat or an Oregon orange, plus beers from Chincoteague's Black Narrows Brewing — such as a briny saison brewed with bivalves.

Insider tip: Go early — the place is tiny — and it never hurts to ask about last-minute Oyster Oyster cancellations if you're feeling lucky and a little fancy.

  • Also good to know: Fall reservations for the tasting room go live Thursday at 10am.
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