The Local Oyster Now Open on Fort Avenue

| October 6, 2022 | 0 Comments

The Local Oyster, a seafood bar at Mount Vernon Marketplace, opened a second location last month at 838 E. Fort Ave. in Riverside/Locust Point. The two-story, 3,800 sq. ft. building was the former home of Rallo’s Restaurant and Big Matty’s Diner, but has been vacant since 2015.

The building is owned by War Horse, which co-developed Anthem House across the street and A2 by Anthem House located in Rallo’s former parking lot behind the restaurant building. The former Thornton’s Pub liquor license in Locust Point was transferred to 838 E. Fort Ave. in 2015 as Thornton’s was converted into a residence.

The Local Oyster has a sister company, True Chesapeake Oyster Co., which has an oyster farm in St. Mary’s County and a restaurant in Hampden.

The Local Oyster partner Nick Schauman told the new location is “still a work in progress.” Some punch list items from the renovation are still taking place, and the restaurant is currently only open Thursday to Sunday from 4pm to 9pm as the management team works to fully build its staff.

“The goal is to be open for lunch every day at 11am, probably staying closed on Mondays,” said Schauman. He said the hours will change, but “if you see the open flag, we are open.”

The Local Oyster took on a full renovation of the building with a new first-floor bar, raw bar, and dining area, as well as a second-floor dining area and game room with two shuffleboard tables. Bar tables and large “community tables” are on each floor. Both levels have two televisions.

The first-floor patio, which has a fireplace, seats 25.

The second floor will be available for private parties. Schauman said it was designed to appeal to social sports sport league participants going out for pre- and post-game drinks.

“The build-out is beautiful,” said Schauman. “I’m glad we preserved the integrity of the building and historic brick front. It’s really an ode to Rallo’s.”

The menu was curated by Chef Zach Mills. It features raw and roasted oysters and a menu of steamers, fried seafood baskets, and sandwiches including shrimp salad, crab cake, and fried oyster rolls. It also offers the Chesapeake Club, a double-decker sandwich with shrimp salad and a crab cake. The menu also includes crab dip, crab pretzels, crab soup, salads, and sides.

Schauman said he’s really excited about the Crab Dip Burger which is a double smash burger with crab dip in between the two patties.

For dessert, The Local Oyster offers funnel cake.

“We are thrilled to be in Locust Point,” said Schauman. “The response from the neighborhood has been great. I dig the energy.”

He noted business has been “great” and that they already have some regulars. He said he is also loving the “family-friendly vibe” as a lot of neighborhood families have visited.

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