The Urban Oyster, a seafood vendor that got its start selling char-grilled oysters at local farmers’ markets, is opening a restaurant at McHenry Row.
Owner Jasmine Norton plans to open the fast-casual eatery in early 2019 in part of the space that previously housed Ruby 8 Noodles & Sushi.
The Urban Oyster will maintain its presence at farmers markets in Hampden and downtown after the restaurant opens, and Norton said she’s also pursuing a food truck. The brick-and-mortar space will provide a commissary kitchen to support the mobile stands, as well as a permanent destination for customers who might avoid outdoor markets during unfavorable weather.
Guests will order from a counter, and the dining room will seat about 30 guests. A full-service raw bar will have seating for five.
The restaurant will serve Urban Oyster staples, including oyster tacos and char-grilled oysters topped with cheeses and sauces. And the eatery will add new items refined through a series of pop-ups at R. House, like sandwiches, crab cakes and coddies. The restaurant will also offer non-seafood items, such as short-rib grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade burgers.
“The whole point of why we’ve done so many pop-ups at R. House was first to get an understanding of how a restaurant runs,” Norton said. “We’ve been doing a lot of experimenting.”
The Urban Oyster will host its sixth and final R. House pop-up Dec. 24-Jan. 13, before its permanent location debuts in January or February.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.