Island Creek Oysters Shop and Raw Bar Is Now Open in Portland
If you’re headed to Maine for the long holiday weekend, you could bring some north Atlantic bivalves home with you. Duxbury-based Island Creek Oysters debuts a new shop—called the Shop—near Portland’s East End, with a focus on Maine aquaculture. Seasonal seafood in the cooler right now includes Little Island oysters from the Bagaduce River, and Mookie Blues oysters from Damariscotta, Maine.
The shop also carries a selection of imported tinned fish and caviar, which nods to Maine’s canning history. In the 1950s, the state had more than 50 factories preserving seafood, but the nation’s last sardine cannery, in Prospect Harbor, Maine, shuttered in 2010.
The Portland shop, announced early this year, is helmed by general manager Kit Paschal, an alum of Eastern Standard and Portland’s Roustabout. With its pedigree with the sustainable oyster farm on the South Shore, it strives to provide an educational experience for customers, Island Creek says in a press release.
Plus, while they’re there, guests can toss back a few oysters on the half-shell, and tins of fish—not to mention Champagne, wines, and New England beers by the glass. The shop has 58 seats inside plus 20 on an outdoor patio, with a small raw bar menu with Maine and Massachusetts oysters and Wellfleet littlenecks, a handful of spiced seafood tins from Spain, and white sturgeon caviar from California. See the menu below.
Night Shift’s Harborside Gose, which gets its salinity from an addition of live Island Creek oysters, is on draft to start, along with an oyster-perfect stout and an easy drinking lager, both from Maine. Oyster Rivers Morphos, a Maine-grown pet nat, is on draft, plus an Italian nero d’Avola; and there are more wine options by the glass. Check out the list below.
Skip Bennett planted his first oyster beds in Duxbury Bay in 1995, and has since grown the year-round, sustainable program to sell more than 10 million oysters every year. Bennett and Island Creek supplies more than 600 chefs across the country with fresh oysters and clams year-round, and also operates its own webstore, and award-winning restaurants in Kenmore Square, Fort Point, Burlington, and Portsmouth, N.H.
The Portland shop is open Wednesday-Sunday from noon-8 p.m. Meanwhile, Portland’s biggest name in bivalves—Eventide Oyster Co.—is just a couple weeks away from debuting its own fast-casual outpost here in Boston.
123 Washington Ave., Portland, Maine, 207-699-4466, islandcreekoysters.com.