Opening Alert: Rappahannock Oyster Bar swings open its doors tonight

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Rappahannock features a large circular bar inside the old Cigar Factory building - EVA SELLERS
  • Eva Sellers
  • Rappahannock features a large circular bar inside the old Cigar Factory building
The copper bar has been shined, the bar shelves stocked, Rappahannock Oyster Bar (701 E Bay St.) is ready to roll out the red carpet. The latest location of Richmond-based Rappahannock Oyster Co., owned by cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton, unlocks its doors tonight, and with it comes a taste of the Chesapeake.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar Charleston makes for the sixth restaurant for the Croxtons. The cousins got their start in 2001 when their fathers asked them to take over the family's 200-acre oyster leases. With no aquaculture knowledge at the time, the two jumped in. According to their origin story, the two planted their first crop of 3,000 oysters in March of 2002. Then, taking a wild shot, they pitched their 2004 harvest to celebrity chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin and whether thanks to luck or timing, managed to secure a tasting. Next thing you know they were shipping 200 oysters a week to the restaurant.

Now the winners of Food & Wine magazine’s 2004 “Tastemakers Award” have brought their bounty to Charleston.

Four varieties of Virginia oysters are currently on the menu, but they haven't excluded South Carolina's catch. Bull's Bay Blades are also available for $2.50 each. A variety of plates including grilled oysters, pan-seared barrelfish, and, of course, shrimp and grits, are included as well.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar begins serving dinner at 5 p.m. tonight. The restaurant will be open until 11 p.m. weekdays and midnight on weekends. Lunch is expected to begin next week and be open at 11:30 a.m.
EVA SELLERS
  • Eva Sellers
EVA SELLERS
  • Eva Sellers
Seafood platter - EVA SELLERS
  • Eva Sellers
  • Seafood platter
Charred octopus - EVA SELLERS
  • Eva Sellers
  • Charred octopus
Crab cake - EVA SELLERS
  • Eva Sellers
  • Crab cake

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