Located on N Mississippi across from Lovely's Fifty-Fifty and Interurban, Olympia Oyster Bar is taking shape as some sort of West Coast take on the Parisian oyster dive bar. "Two years ago, we went to Paris specifically to eat at as many oyster bars as we could," says Melissa Mayer, who owns Olympia Oyster Bar with Maylin Chavez. "We found Le Baron Rouge, this dive that serves oysters street-side on Sundays." Drawn in by the bar's simplicity and accessibility—everyone in Paris seemed lined up to shoot oysters and quaff cheap white wine—Mayer and Chavez found their vision. "It's almost like eating tacos in Mexico," says Chavez.
The 4214 N. Mississippi space is close to opening, and today, Olympia Oyster Bar tells Eater it will officially start shucking December 16. About 70% of the menu will be oysters served "Raw. Naked. Dressed," and in addition to French influences, Olympia Oyster Bar will take inspiration from Chavez's Mexican heritage and Mayer's 18 years of cooking and eating in coastal San Diego. Oysters sourced direct from oyster producers will come with lime and Tapatio. Oysters will be elevated with chipachole or turned into pâté or ceviche. All will be paired with champagne cocktails.
To help reform the former Beer City Bottle Shop space, Olympia Oyster Bar has hired the Orange PDX design firm. Added are warm colors and wood tones, and Mayer is putting together the 49-seat restaurant's tables using reclaimed wood herself. Initial hours will likely be daily 4 to 11 p.m. Stay tuned for more big news coming soon.
(Photos by Mattie John Bamman)