The West Town space that housed Branch 27 is undergoing renovations front to back to produce Bow & Stern Oyster Bar (1371 W. Chicago Ave., 312-988-0644). The restaurant and late-night establishment is scheduled to open in December, month #4 of the eight R months that define the oyster season.
If the name of the restaurant isn’t tip-off enough, customers will first see an oyster shucker behind a bar, in a nautically themed interior. Eight to twelve varieties from both coasts and the Gulf will be served nightly (and delivered fresh six days a week), with Blue Point and Kumamoto oysters as menu staples and other varieties rotating. The owners hope that sharing a few dozen bivalves will promote a convivial atmosphere.
“That’s what oysters are all about,” says Jay Runnfeldt, a partner who also co-owns The Drawing Room. “A very social experience, [people] talking about what they are tasting and feeling.”
The seafood-focused menu also will feature whitefish, scallops, mussels, and the like, along with terrestrial options such as a burger or pork chops. Key lime pie will appear on the dessert menu. “If I didn’t have that, my wife would be very upset,” Runnfeldt says.
Midwestern craft beers and classic and seasonal cocktails make up the drink menu. We’re hoping the after-dinner drinks menu is headed “Starboard & Port.”