One of Salt Lake City’s newest bars has a familiar name and location.
The Oyster Bar opened in mid-February inside the venerable Market Street Broiler at 260 S. 1300 East.
When compared to the three other Oyster Bars — connected to the Market Street restaurants in downtown, Cottonwood and South Jordan — this new sibling is small. It has just six tables and four booths carved out of the existing upstairs dining area.
To regular Broiler customers, it may seem that little has changed in the space, except the sleek wooden partition that now separates the bar from the dining area and the big-screen television.
But the addition of an Oyster Bar is significant to the neighborhood, as it has become the only club within walking distance of the University of Utah, said Steve Field, marketing director with Gastronomy Inc., which owns and operates the Market Street properties.
“There isn’t another bar for several blocks,” he said, surmising that Dick and Dixie’s on the corner of 300 South and 500 East is likely the closest watering hole.
Field said the bar should draw from a broad customer base, including area residents, U. faculty, staff and students (21 and older, of course), and patrons attending productions and events at Pioneer Theatre and Kingsbury Hall just a block away.
While the bar fills a neighborhood need, that wasn’t the main reason Gastronomy applied for a club license with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (UDABC).
“We really wanted it to be consistent with the other properties,” said Field, adding that it took more than a year of waiting to get the coveted license from the UDABC.
The new Oyster Bar “has a limited menu compared to the other Oyster Bars,” said manager Jessica Reedy. But beer, wine and all the cocktails from the Market Street beverage list are available, including the popular Bling Bling, a vodka martini with raspberries and float of Italian sparkling wine.
Reedy said because of the limited space inside the restaurant, drinks must still be made in the street-level kitchen and brought upstairs to customers.
The Oyster Bar may lack the space of its newer and larger siblings, but it has all the history and charm. The renovated building, an old fire station that dates to 1930, is listed on the National Record of Historic Places.
While the new club license allows Broiler patrons to enjoy an alcoholic beverage without also having to order food, customers will want to indulge in the bar’s namesake: oysters.
There are usually six to eight varieties of fresh oysters available each day for $2.50 to $2.80 each. Through March, all U.S. Blue Point oysters from the East Coast are 99 cents each. The bar menu also includes other favorites such as shrimp cocktail and crab cakes.
Customers also can order anything off the regular restaurant menu — including the famous clam chowder — and enjoy it in the bar.
Market Street Broiler Oyster Bar
Where • 260 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City; 801-583-8808
Open • Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday 4 to 9 p.m.
Details • marketstreetgrill.com