Seemingly overnight, Portland’s Washington Avenue has become a go-to spot for some of the city’s best new restaurants. As new eateries and markets continue to open up along this stretch of the East End, the street is beginning to feel like its own destination within the food-driven city of Portland. Duxbury’s Island Creek Oysters opened up their Portland raw bar and retail market, known as The Shop, on Washington Ave. late this summer and there’s been a steady stream of bivalve enthusiasts pouring inside (and spilling out on the sunny seasonal patio) ever since. With bold, bright orange lettering stenciled on the outside of the building by local artist (and co-founder of the Portland Mural Initiative), Tessa Greene O’Brien, it’s hard not to be enticed inside.
As a raw bar, The Shop’s menu is refreshingly simple – $1.50 oysters, tinned fish, caviar, beer, wine, and champagne. Island Creek’s own Duxbury oysters are served alongside some of Maine’s native varieties, including Damariscotta’s Mookie Blues, Scarborough’s Abigail Pearls, and New Meadows River’s Eider Coves. If you’re not in the mood for oysters, Tinned sardines, squid, octopus, or razor clams are served on a heaping tray filled with bread, butter, pickles, cabbages, and mustard. And as a retail space, all of this can also be purchased to go – really upping your entertaining game at home.
Whether you’re stopping in for an afternoon of oysters, grabbing a bag to take home, or killing time in the most delicious of ways while you wait for a table at Minato, Drifters Wife, or Cong Tu Bot, The Shop is definitely a tasty addition to Portland’s Washington Ave.